BOSTON, Massachusetts – Senior guard Chris Flemmings got the Seahawks off to a strong start and sophomore forward Devontae Cacok came up with a big steal in the closing seconds as UNCW set a school record for regular season victories with a 66-65 nail biter over host Northeastern in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball matchup on Thursday night at historic Matthews Arena.
The Seahawks (23-5, 12-3) took the first game of the series with the Huskies and conclude their road slate with a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday at Hofstra. NU (14-13, 7-8) lost for the fourth time in five outings and fell to 0-2 on their three-game home stand.
This one came down to the wire and @uncwmenshoops survived with the 66-65 win over Northeastern.
— CAA Basketball (@CAABasketball) February 17, 2017
“I’m very proud of our guys tonight,” said UNCW third-year Head Coach Kevin Keatts, who stayed perfect at Matthews Arena in three tries. “We had a couple guys who haven’t practiced much in the last three days and we just ran out of gas. I knew that could happen, so I told them to count on our defense to win the game and find a way.”
Flemmings, torched the nets again on Thursday, scoring 20 of his team-high 21 points in the first half to help UNCW race to a 39-19 cushion before holding on at the end. With Flemmings on fire, the Seahawks closed out the half with a 16-2 spurt to take a 20-point lead into the break.
Sophomore guard C.J. Bryce took over for Flemmings after intermission, scoring eight of his 19 points in the second half and pulling down nine rebounds. Cacok wound up with eight points, eight boards and two steals, including a key play with 10 seconds left.
The Seahawks, who remained in first place in the CAA standings, collected their 23rd win of the regular season, eclipsing the 22 victories recorded by the 2005-06 and 2015-16 teams.