Seahawks knocked out in CAA tournament quarterfinals


Noah Powers/The Seahawk

Devontae Cacok (15) drives through the lane for a layup during UNCW’s season opener against Campbell.

Noah Powers, Assistant Sports Editor

After a morale-boosting 93-86 win over Elon in the opening round of the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association tournament, UNC Wilmington’s season ended at the hands of Northeastern for the second year in a row.

The 10th-seeded Seahawks fell 80-59 in the quarterfinals of the CAA tournament at North Charleston Coliseum Sunday night.

The 2nd-seeded Huskies (21-10, 14-4 CAA), who will face No. 3 College of Charleston in the semifinals on Monday night, were led by redshirt junior Jordan Roland (21 points) and junior Bolden Brace (17 points, 8 rebounds). The main attraction however, was redshirt senior Vasa Pusica, who stocked the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

Northeastern preps for its sixth trip to the CAA Tournament semifinals in seven years while also staking claim to a six-game winning streak against the Seahawks.

Lack of perimeter defense cursed UNCW, which gave up 12 buckets from beyond the arc. Along with a single triple provided by junior Jaylen Fornes, the Seahawks were unable to retaliate in a contest that Northeastern led from tipoff to final buzzer.

Seahawk efforts

The teal faithful bid a farewell to senior sensation Devontae Cacok who suited up in a Seahawk jersey for the final time on Sunday.

Cacok led the efforts for UNCW, putting up 21 points and 13 rebounds. This marked his 24th double-double of the season (leads NCAA) and 59th all-time (UNCW record). He closed out his college career with 1,593 points and 1,263 rebounds, putting him at No. 1 on UNCW’s list of all-time rebounders (a feat that he accomplished earlier this season) and No. 4 on the list of all-time scorers.

Also leading the team were redshirt junior Jeantal Cylla (12 points, 5 rebounds), who was the only other Seahawk to score in double digits, as well as freshman Kai Toews (8 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists).

Toews, who was honored on the CAA’s All-Rookie Team, broke the UNCW season assist record set by Rick Allesi (244) with his 249th on Saturday against Elon. He hit the 253 mark on Sunday, surpassing the league’s long-standing single season record of 251 held by both Navy’s Doug Wojcik (1985-86) and George Mason’s Curtis McCants (1994-95).

253 assists also put Toews near the halfway point of John Goldsberry’s (2005-06) UNCW career assist record of 530.

The Seahawks finished the 2018-19 campaign at 10-23 with a 5-13 standing in conference play.

Stat of the game: Cacok’s team-high 21 points and 13 rebounds