Seahawks pick up first win against Bulldogs

Jake+Boggs+slams+one+down+during+UNCW%27s+matchup+with+N.C.+Wesleyan+on+Nov.+19%2C+2019.

Zachary Kilby/The Seahawk

Jake Boggs slams one down during UNCW’s matchup with N.C. Wesleyan on Nov. 19, 2019.

Zachary Kilby, Sports Editor

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina – A Jamarhi Harvey lob that was slammed down by Jake Boggs gave UNCW (1-1) their first lead over UNC Asheville (0-1) since the 4:31 mark in the first half. The Seahawks would go on to capture their first win of the 2020-21 season with a 76-68 victory over the Bulldogs on Friday afternoon.

First Half: Déjà Vu

The Seahawks matched their first-half deficit from Wednesday, trailing the Bulldogs by five points after the first 20 minutes of play. UNCW led by as much as five and trailed by the same amount after only hitting one three point field goal in the first half.

Jake Boggs had an immediate impact, scoring nine of the Seahawks’ first 13 points in the first six minutes of play. The sophomore ended the half with 10 points, the only player to reach double digits on either team. Jaylen Sims followed suite with nine first half points while playing 19 minutes. The junior Sims played the entire 40 minutes of UNCW’s matchup with Western Carolina (1-1) on Wednesday.

UNCW got outrebounded by UNCA 19-15 in the first half. The Seahawks definitely missed St. John’s transfer Ian Steere who was absent for the second straight game. Sims and Boggs also led the Seahawks in the rebounding department, each grabbing four apiece. Imajae Dodd’s one lonely rebound in the first half after grabbing zero in Wednesday’s game is a bit of a concern for the Seahawks after the second-year big man averaged 10 just a year ago.

Second Half: Fighting Back

UNCW didn’t capture the lead again until 3:36 left in the game when they took the 65-63 advantage off an alley-oop. Boggs and Sims nearly matched their career highs on Friday. Boggs scored 19 while Sims added 24 after scoring 27 against the Catamounts.

6-foot-3-inch guard Mike Okauru had a strong second half on the glass and ended up leading the Seahawks in rebounds with 10. Dodd finished the game with one rebound, one block, one turnover and one personal foul in six minutes of play. It’s unknown what is keeping Dodd on the bench for the Hawks, but his inside game and defensive presence will certainly be needed as UNCW moves forward.

Along with Dodd’s short amount of play, UNCW found themselves a bit shorthanded once again as they only had nine men available due to Shykeim Phillips, Ja’Juan Carr and Ian Steere being absent once again. The reasoning for the three players’ absence is still unknown but will be monitored closely moving forward.

Looking Ahead: UNCW vs Troy

The Seahawks will close out the Mako Medical Asheville Classic on Saturday when they play Troy (1-0) at 1 p.m. The Trojans are coming off a narrow two point victory against Western Carolina after having their season-opener against Middle Georgia State canceled due to COVID-19 virus protocols.