Seahawks rout visiting UNC Greensboro, remain undefeated at home

Evan Edwards | Staff Writer

It’s not quite Christmas yet, but the UNC Wilmington men’s basketball team (5-6) delivered plenty of gifts Wednesday night in their 87-73 win over UNC Greensboro (2-7).

The Seahawks controlled the tempo from the tip.

They were able to establish an early lead and never looked back. In the previous nine games UNCW, has gotten off to painfully slow starts and has been forced to battle back from behind in the second half.

Tonight was the exact opposite.

The Seahawks came out stroking the ball and scored a season high 49 points in the first half.

Keith Rendleman was Keith Rendleman, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to get his usual double-double.

“They seemed a little bit smaller than me,” Rendleman said. “They were physical, so they would push me out, so coaches kept telling me to face up and try to drive by them. They didn’t come with the double team as much as I’m used to so I tried to take advantage of that.”

Craig Ponder stepped up and had a solid performance for UNCW, scoring 19 points. He was 6-8 on his field goal attempts, and shot a remarkable 5-6 from the perimeter.

“Sometimes you just go out there and feel it,” Ponder said. “It was just one of those nights.”

Freddie Jackson continues to be a consistent contributor for the Seahawks, adding 14 points and 5 rebounds in the victory over the Spartans. Not only does he get it done on offense, but he has proven himself to be the best defender on the team.

Jackson had his hands full Wednesday night, as he was matched up with UNC Greensboro’s best player, Trevis Simpson. Simpson is a lethal scorer, coming into the game averaging 19.9 points per game.

UNCW head coach Buzz Peterson acknowledged, after the game, “Our goal going into the game was to make sure we limit 15 (Simpson) and his touches as much as possible.”

Simpson had 19 points for UNC Greensboro in what seemed like a rather quiet performance. He showed flashes of being a great player and has a beautiful jump shot, but for the most part, Freddie Jackson kept him in check.

Derrell Armstrong added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Spartans in the loss.

The Seahawks are undefeated at home this year and appear to be an improved team from a month ago. If they continue to play like they did tonight, there’s no way this team will finish at the bottom of the conference as predicted before the season.

“If we can get Ponder and Dixon, and get Tyree to step up and hit some shots, I tell you what, I like this team,” Coach Peterson said. “I really like what they’re doing. They’re coming around.”