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The Seahawk

UNCW defeats Drexel to take the advantage in conference

Jenkins shoots three pointer in front of Teal Nation. (Chris Crouch/UNCWSports.com)

The UNCW Seahawks men’s basketball team defeated the Drexel Dragons in a conference play. The final score of the game came out to 75-56, with the Seahawks taking the win. The Seahawks improved their record to 17-6 (8-3), while Drexel fell to 15-9 (8-3). This was an important game as these two teams were among a group jockeying for position at the top of the conference standings. Drexel defeated UNCW in their first matchup, and with the Seahawk win, it now makes it an even season. These two teams will seemingly remain near the top as the season closes out, and could potentially meet for a third time in the CAA tournament. 

For the Seahawks, this game looked how most of their games have been over this past stretch. In the first half, the Seahawks raced out to a 10-2 lead, but Drexel battled back and was winning by one point, 29-28 at halftime. The game remained close until about halfway through the second half. From 10:32 to 3:38 remaining on the clock, the Seahawks went on a 19-2 run with five different scorers. This run cemented this performance for the team and allowed them to emerge victorious.  

KJ Jenkins led the team in scoring in this game, with 24 points on 7-14 (7-13) from the field; 21 of those points came in the second half. Trazarien White had 15 points and six rebounds, on 7-13 (0-2). Donovan Newby had 13 points and four assists on 5-8 (3-5). Ten of his 13 points and all four of Newby’s assists came in the second half of this game.

The UNCW Student Section showed out once again. (Tom Hanna/UNCWSports.com)

“I wouldn’t say much changed; I just feel like we adhered to the game plan,” said Newby. “We were locked in, playing inside out, playing team basketball. Like KJ said, the coaches ran plays for our guys to be successful, we made shots when we needed to and got stops on defense.” 

To bring attention to another one of the key guards, KJ Jenkins has gone beyond UNCW fans’ expectations. Through the first seven games of the season, Jenkins was getting acclimated to the offense and played a reduced role. He played 20.9 minutes per game, with 9.6 ppg and 2.3 RPG. His shooting splits were 40.4/43.6/57.1. Since the game against East Carolina, from the Kentucky game on, Jenkins has played 28.7 minutes per game and averaged 14.6 ppg and 2.9 rpg. His shooting splits in this stretch are 41.4/37.3/94.5. Jenkins adds something to the UNCW offense they have not had in recent years.

Newby drives past a Drexel defender. (Tom Hanna/UNCWSports.com)

“Today, before we went on the court for shootaround, I showed them the Towson game [Towson vs Drexel],” said Siddle. “The second half, around the 12-minute mark, we watched hit down to about the 8-minute mark… and we needed to handle it better than Towson did … I told them, when it comes up, let’s make sure we’re ready for them to be in panic mode and to be aggressive. Let’s make sure we execute our press makers, let’s make shots, let’s guard them without fouling. And we did that. That was the challenge for them, to make sure to continue to build a killer mentality.” 

This team continues to improve and step up when it matters most. This game against Drexel was an impressive performance. The Seahawks held the pre-season player of the year, Amari Williams, to four points on 2-4 from the field. This was a dominant, hard-nosed effort from the UNCW Seahawks. UNCW’S conference record is 8-3 after this victory. They are tied with Charleston (COFC) and Drexel at the top but hold tie breakers over them both. 

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