Seahawks take down George Mason in conference upset

Cam Ellis | Assistant Sports Editor

Perhaps taking a cue from the weather, UNC Wilmington guard Chris Dixon spent his Saturday afternoon heating up, scoring 30 points as the Seahawks defeated visiting George Mason in a battle of CAA foes, 82-74.

A back and forth game for most of its entirety, UNCW pulled away at the end, thanks in part to clutch free throws down the stretch from players like Dixon, Tyree Graham and Keith Rendleman.

The Seahawks played inspired basketball, coming back from deficits as large as nine points on several occasions. When asked about the fighting spirit of the team, Dixon credited a string of great practices this week.

“I think it started in practice,” he said. “There was a lot of effort, which rolled over into today’s game.”

The junior guard, in his first season at UNCW after transferring from Redlands Community College in El Reno, OK, finished with a career-high 30 points on 12-16 shooting.

But that wasn’t the stat that coach Buzz Peterson was most impressed with.

“Unbelievable game by Chris Dixon,” Peterson said, “[he had] no turnovers, which is the most important part. He took care of the ball for us and handled their press.”

The Seahawks need a big day from someone not named Keith Rendleman, who struggled from the field, scoring 11 points on 1-8 shooting. He did contribute on the boards though, grabbing 13 total rebounds.

It was a big win for UNCW (6-10, 1-3 CAA), which got its first conference victory in four tries. The Seahawks also snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Patriots (9-7, 2-2 CAA), dating back to 2008.

The key to the upset was the team’s practice during the week, according to Peterson.

“I’m a firm believer that you win a ballgame before the game happens,” he said. “We had a very competitive practice this week.”

After taking down one of the top teams in the CAA, the Seahawks will look to keep this momentum going when Old Dominion visits Trask Coliseum on Wednesday.