CHARLESTON, South Carolina- Junior playmaker Jordon Talley scored a season-high 17 points, while senior guard Chris Flemmings and sophomore guard C.J Bryce collected double-doubles as preseason favorite UNCW took over sole possession of first place in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 65-59 victory over host College of Charleston Thursday night at TD Arena.
The Seahawks won their seventh straight contest to push their record to 18-2 overall and remain perfect in the CAA at 7-0. The Cougars are now 15-5 and sit one game behind the CAA standings at 6-1 after having their seven-game streak stopped.
— CAA Basketball (@CAABasketball) January 20, 2017
“We’ve had some great games with Charleston and this was another one,” said UNCW Third-Year Head Coach Kevin Keatts. “I thought our defense was the difference. I thought the tempo was in our favor, but if you look at the score it was not. They played fast, but both teams missed a lot of shots in the first half. I thought we had the pace in our favor.”
Talley, a seasoned point guard from Richmond, Va., played 22 minutes off the bench and scored 12 of his 17 points at the charity stripe, including several key free throws down the stretch. With starting point guard Denzel Ingram in foul trouble, Talley steered the team to its eighth consecutive victory over the Cougars.
Talley paced four players in double figures for the first-place Seahawks. Ingram scored 13 points and dished out four assists, Bryce finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Flemmings wound up with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
UNCW, ranked No. 2 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll, has not lost to the Cougars since early January of 2014.
In a game with a tournament feel, the Seahawks shook off cold shooting to take a 30-28 edge into intermission after 10 lead changes in the first 20 minutes and slammed the door on the Cougars with suffocating defense in the second half. Charleston managed just 27.3 percent shooting after intermission on 9-of-33 field goals.
One of the key plays in the game came with 55 seconds left and the Seahawks clinging to a 58-51 margin. With the shot clock winding down, Talley spun around in the air and launched a 24-footer in the front of the Seahawk bench that found the net and pushed the lead to 10 points – their largest of the game – deflating the Cougars and the 4,631 fans gathered for the latest installment of the rivalry.
The Seahawks return home to entertain Drexel on Saturday in a 4 p.m. tip-off at Trask Coliseum. The Cougars wrap up their two-game homestand with a 4 p.m. clash on Saturday vs. James Madison.