Sophomore forward Devontae Cacok poured in a career-high 17 points to anchor four players in double figures to keep UNCW unbeaten following a 68-59 triumph over East Tennessee State in non-conference men’s basketball action Sunday at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks opened the season at 3-0 for the second straight season and knocked off the 2-1 Bucs for the second consecutive year after holding the Johnson City, Tenn., club to a whopping 42.5 points below its 101.5 points per game scoring average.
Cacok, from Alpharetta, Ga., went 8-for-9 from the floor, including three monster dunks, and added eight rebounds as UNCW shot 48.2 percent on the day. CAA Preseason Player of the Year Chris Flemmings registered his sixth career double-double with 15 points and 11 boards, while sophomore guard C.J. Bryce collected 12 points.
UNCW erased an early deficit with a big spurt midway through the first half to forge a 35-23 lead at intermission. The Seahawks held off several ETSU rallies down the stretch to take a 6-5 edge in the all-time series.
The Buccaneers took advantage of UNCW’s sluggish start early in the game to grab a quick 6-2 edge before the Seahawks, behind Flemmings, got untracked. Trailing 8-4, the Seahawks took their first lead of the contest on a put back by Cacok and back-to-back buckets by the athletic Flemmings.
In the first 20 minutes, Cacok and Flemmings did most of the damage, scoring 10 points apiece and snaring 10 of the team’s 14 rebounds for a 35-23 lead at halftime.
After the break the Seahawks extended the margin to 18 points by scoring the first six points of the second half, capped by an offensive rebound and bucket by Flemings as the margin ballooned to 41-23 at 18:17.
With 4,032 fans in attendance, the Seahawks have drawn more than 4,000 fans in each of their first two home games. UNCW returns to the floor later this week when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., as the Seahawks open the road trip with a Friday contest at 8:30 p.m. vs. Middle Tennessee State at the Nashville Auditorium.