NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina – Sophomore C.J. Bryce scored 17 points, and redshirt senior Denzel Ingram had 15 to go along with eight assists, as top-seeded UNCW held off ninth-seeded Delaware, 91-82, in quarterfinal No. 1 of the 2017 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
The defending conference champion Seahawks (27-5) punched their ticket into Sunday’s semifinals for the third straight season, and await the winner of No. 4 William & Mary and No. 5 Elon. The first semifinal takes place tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet and CAA.tv.
Sophomore Devontae Cacok went a perfect 6-of-6 shooting for 13 points, and redshirt senior Chris Flemmings added 14 points, four rebounds and three blocks in the win – UNCW’s school-record 27thof the season. Junior Jordan Talley netted 16 points, 12 of which came from the free throw line.
Less than 24 hours after Delaware upset Hofstra in Friday’s first round, CAA Rookie of the Year Ryan Daly again led his team with a game-high 24 points. Daly recorded his second double-double of the championship, grabbing 10 boards in defeat. Junior Anthony Mosley scored 20 points and redshirt sophomore Darian Bryant chipped in 14 for the Blue Hens (13-20).
UNCW led by nine at halftime, and pushed the advantage to 69-49 with 9:26 left to play following a three-pointer from Ingram. Much like the first half, Delaware did not go away.
The Hens quietly chipped back within seven following two free throws from Mosley that capped an 18-5 run with just over four minutes left. Talley and the Hawks made sure it did not get closer the rest of the way, and took care of business from the charity stripe to earn the victory.
As a team, UNCW shot 50.9% from the floor and made 9-of-20 shots from behind the arc. Delaware also shot the ball well, hitting 57.7% of its attempts from the floor.
The Seahawks started hot, jumping out to a 20-13 lead just 10 minutes in. UD held its own as the half winded down, creeping within three (35-32) after a jumper from Daly with 2:26 left. Still, the Hawks answered with six straight points to close the period, and pushed their lead to nine at the break.
Notes: UNCW (27-5) is the first team to capture three consecutive CAA regular-season crowns since VCU did it from 2007-09.