Seahawks one win away from NCAA’s March Madness

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Redshirt seniors Denzel Ingram and Chris Flemmings paced an outstanding offensive effort to help top-seeded UNCW advance to the finals of the 2017 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship for the second straight year with a 105-94 win over fourth-seeded William & Mary.

UNCW upped its own program record for wins, moving to 28-5 overall. Ingram nailed six three-pointers to go along with eight assists for 27 points, while Flemmings had five rebounds and went a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw line for 26 points. Sophomores C.J. Bryce (16) and Devontae Cacok (12) also scored in double-figures.

The 105 points were the second-most ever in a CAA Tournament game and most since Old Dominion scored a tournament-record 110 points in 1995.

Much of the second half was a cat-and-mouse game, as the Tribe threatened to cut the deficit numerous times, but the Hawks always had the answer. Ingram spearheaded the effort more than once, knocking down his third three-pointer of the half at the 8:33 mark, upping UNCW’s advantage to 12, 80-68.

With less than five minutes to play, another Seahawk three-pointer extended the lead again, this time to 15 points (91-76), and UNCW maintained control the rest of the way.

Both teams were on fire offensively. UNCW shot 58.9 percent from the floor, including 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) in the second half, and was 11-of-21 from three. William & Mary was nearly as good, shooting 55.9 percent from the floor, including 21-of-32 (65.6 percent) over the final 20 minutes, and made 11-of-26 from three.

Ambrose Mosley’s three-pointer with 2:31 to play capped the run before UNCW went into the break on top, 47-37.

Coach Kevin Keatts is now 6-1 in CAA Tournament games. UNCW is the top seed for the sixth time in the conference bracket and owns a 14-2 record as the number one team in the division.

An automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is on the line on Monday night when the Seahawks head back to the CAA title contest to face either second-seeded College of Charleston or third-seeded Towson at 7 p.m.