Hawks win eighth straight in OT thriller


Shykeim Phillips during UNCW’s matchup with Charleston on Jan. 12, 2022 inside Trask Coliseum (Zachary Kilby)

Zachary Kilby, Sports Editor

TOWSON, Maryland – Nearly midway through the second half, UNCW Head Coach Takayo Siddle wrote a single word on his board that would help ignite a spark in the Seahawk huddle.


Not only did Siddle write this term out, but he made every single player read it aloud with hopes it would inspire them to reach another level.

It did.

UNCW (11-5, 5-0 CAA) and Towson (14-6, 5-2 CAA) came into Saturday’s contest ranked as the top two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association; both looking to extend lengthy winning streaks.

Once again, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gave the Seahawks less than a 7% chance to defeat a team that was ranked below them in the standings. For the second game in a row, the Seahawks proved them wrong.

The Hawks’ 81-77 victory proved more than the level of talent they have on their team. The win demonstrated the amount of fight and pride this squad has every single time they step on the court.

“This group is developing the toughness I’m looking for,” Siddle said. “We knew that if we were going to beat this Towson team, we were going to have to be tough, both mentally and physically, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Shykeim Phillips led all scorers with 18, including eight consecutive points in the final few minutes of the second half to help force overtime.

Coming into Saturday, Phillips had scored 36 points in the final five minutes of UNCW’s previous six games, while shooting 13-for-21 from the field and 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

“(Shykeim) is special,” Siddle said. “Nobody can guard him one-on-one. If he gets to his spot on the floor, he’s going to make it every time. He delivered big time (today) once again.”

UNCW will finish off its four-game road trip against Northeastern on Jan. 24. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Streaming options are available on FloSports.com. Tune into 95.9 FM The Breeze and follow @uncwmenshoops on Twitter for highlights and live score updates.