Men’s basketball tops Wofford over Thanksgiving weekend

Mat Batts | Staff Writer

The UNC Wilmington men’s basketball team put an end to its three-game losing streak Saturday, beating Southern Conference foe Wofford 49-37, in game two of the 2012 Nations of Coaches Classic.

The Seahawks exploited their height advantage over the Terriers on offense and played strong defense to shut down a Wofford attack that relied heavily on ball movement and perimeter jump shots.

“Today, I thought our guys did a pretty good job defensively,” said Coach Buzz Peterson. “We had to do a good job of defending the three. We had to do a very good job of chasing the shooters on their hips…our defense hung on to help us win the ballgame.”

Keith Rendleman led all scorers in the game with 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half. After picking up two quick fouls in the first half, Rendleman was limited to just nine minutes going into halftime.

With Rendleman sidelined for extended periods during the first 20 minutes, sophomore Cedrick Williams stepped up and torched Wofford for eight points and 10 rebounds, finishing the game with 10 total points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

“When Keith goes out of the game [Williams] feels ownership to step up and be the man,” said Peterson.

On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Feddie Jackson anchored UNCW’s efforts to contain Wofford sharpshooter Karl Cochran. Cochran, who came into Saturday’s contest averaging 17.7 points per game, was limited to just seven points of 3 for 12 shooting from the floor.

“It’s tough when Freddie Jackson is chasing you around everywhere,” said Tanner Milson of Jackson’s intensity against Cochran. “I know it’s hard for me in practice.”

Jackson, with the help of forward Luke Hager and Milson, swarmed Wofford ball handlers and prevented the Terriors from getting off any clean looks from beyond the arc. The stifling defense resulted in just 37 Wofford points, setting a record for the lowest point total by an opponent since Peterson took over as head coach at UNCW.

Along with his team’s record-setting defensive efforts, Buzz Peterson earned another milestone in UNCW’s victory, capturing his 250thcareer win as a head coach. 25 of those wins have come during Peterson’s time in Wilmington.

The Seahawks will conclude the Nations of Coaches Classic and aim to even their record at 3-3 on Sunday, when they take on Hampton in Trask Coliseum.