UNC-Wilmington clinches top spot in CAA with win over Towson

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WILMINGTON – UNCW secured the No. 1 seed in next week’s Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and matched the school record for victories by outmuscling Towson, 83-78, in men’s basketball action Thursday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks (25-5, 14-3) conclude the regular season on Saturday with a 2 p.m. matchup vs. Northeastern.  The Tigers (19-11, 11-6) had their six-game winning streak snapped and wrap up the regular campaign on Saturday at William & Mary.

UNCW men's basketball team defeat Towson 83-78 clenching #1 seed for the CAA Tournament in North Charleston February 23, 2017 at Trask Coliseum. PHOTO BY: JEFF JANOWSKI/UNCW
UNCW men’s basketball team defeat Towson 83-78 clenching #1 seed for the CAA Tournament in North Charleston February 23, 2017 at Trask Coliseum. PHOTO BY: JEFF JANOWSKI/UNCW

“This was a total team win,” said Kevin Keatts, who improved to 34-5 at home with Saturday’s clincher. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. We talked every time out about staying the course and trying to get stops and keeping them off the offensive glass. Every time they got close, someone made a play.”

The Seahawks collected their third CAA regular season title in as many years and tied the school record for home victories with their 12th win at Trask Coliseum in 13 tries in 2016-17.

UNCW will be the No. 1 seed for the sixth time in next week’s CAA Tournament in Charleston, S.C. The College of Charleston will be the No. 2 seed and Towson has earned the No. 3 spot. The remainder of the seeds will be determined following the last games of the regular season on Saturday.


The grind-it-out contest turned into a battle between UNCW sophomore guard C.J. Bryce and Towson senior forward William Adala Moto. The pair traded shots throughout much of the second half and combined for 20-of-28 from the floor and 18-of-24 at the free throw line in the shootout.

Bryce anchored four Seahawks in double figures with a career-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting. The Tigers led at halftime, 35-31, but the Seahawks wiped out that lead early in the second half by making seven of their first 12 field goals in the final period.