Monday, December 11, 2023

UNC-Wilmington hoops dial long distance to continue record setting season

HARRISONBURG, Virginia – In a historic season featuring new records with each new game, UNCW tacked on another one Thursday night  – the fastest Seahawk team to reach 20 wins in a season.

Led by CAA Preseason Player of the Year Chris Flemmings, the Seahawks placed six men in double figures for the second time this season to blow past host James Madison, 87-76, to remain atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings midway through the conference season.

The Seahawks (20-2, 9-0) won their ninth consecutive game by taking the first leg of a two-game road trip to Virginia. The Dukes (6-16, 4-5) suffered their third straight loss and fifth defeat in six outings

Coupled with Towson’s overtime thriller over College of Charleston (16-6, 7-2), the Seahawks now own a two-game lead over the Cougars in the CAA standings.  With an unblemished 9-0 record, the Seahawks are off to the fourth best start in league history, matching JMU’s 1991 and 1992 clubs.

This year’s Seahawk club becomes only the second unit in school history to post back-to-back 20-win seasons, following the lead of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

The Seahawks inched out to a 38-35 lead at intermission and turned up the heat in the second half, shooting 65.5 percent after the break and draining 9-of-16 treys in a long distance barrage to bury the Dukes.

UNCW finished 16-of-35 behind the arc, setting a JMU Convocation Center record for three-pointers made and falling just one shy of the single game program record.

The Seahawks conclude their two-game road trip to Virginia on Saturday with a 4 p.m. tip against William & Mary’s Tribe at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg. The Dukes travel to Newark, Del., on Saturday to battle Delaware’s Blue Hens at 7 p.m.

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