WILMINGTON — Three days after beating Northeastern on the road in a game rescheduled because of a COVID postponement, the UNC Wilmington basketball team returned home for a rematch against the Huskies.
Second verse, same as the first.
Shykeim Phillips and Jayen Sims combined to score 37 points to lead the Seahawks to a 67-62 victory at Trask Coliseum on Thursday for their second straight win against their Colonial Athletic Association rival and their 10th straight overall.
The streak is one short of the school record of 11, set in 2015-16 under the direction of then-coach Kevin Keatts.
“Ten in a row, that’s fun right there. That’s very fun,” said Phillips. “We need to keep this thing rolling.”
UNCW (13-5, 7-0 CAA) shot 51% from the floor and neutralized Northeastern’s size advantage by using its quickness to attack the rim for high-percentage shots or kick-out 3-pointers — of which it made six of 15 attempts.
But it was the Seahawks’ defense that made the biggest difference in this meeting.
Twenty-five of their points came off the 20 turnovers they forced the Huskies into. Their aggressiveness also helped get Northeastern big man Chris Doherty into early foul trouble. Doherty, who scored 19 points to lead his team on Monday in Boston, was limited to six this time (on only two field goal attempts) while playing only 24 minutes.
UNCW used Doherty’s first prolonged absence late in the first half to open up its first double-digit lead at 34-23 on a Jalen Fornes’ 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining.
Then after Northeastern closed the gap to just three early in the second half, the Seahawks went into lockdown mode, holding their opponent scoreless for 6:46 while scoring 10 straight points to break the game open.
“They know that in order for us to be the team we want to be, we have to defend. We have to,” UNCW coach Takayo Siddle said. “They took it upon themselves to lock down and get some stops, and we got some rebounds that allowed us to get out and run. We talked to them and held them accountable, but they have to go out there and do it. That’s a great quality of this team.”
Sims led the way with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Phillips had 17 while going 7 of 12 from the floor. Fornes was also in double figures with 14 points, adding a team-leading four assists.
Jahmyl Telfort led Northeastern (6-14, 0-9) with 20 points. Nikola Djogo had 17. The Huskies outrebounded the Seahawks 35-17,
UNCW will have a chance to tie the school record for consecutive wins on Saturday at home against Hofstra.
Gardner-Webb 61, UNC Asheville 55
ASHEVILLE — D’Maurian Williams had 21 points as Gardner-Webb topped UNC Asheville 61-55 on Thursday night.
Lance Terry had 11 points and six rebounds for the Runnin’ Bulldogs (10-10, 4-3 Big South Conference).
LJ Thorpe had 16 points to pace the Bulldogs (11-9, 3-4). Tajion Jones added 11 points and seven rebounds. Drew Pember had 10 points and nine boards.
Gardner-Webb won despite a season-low 24 points in the second half.
Elon 61, William & Mary 54
ELON — Michael Graham had a career-high 20 points plus 12 rebounds as Elon beat William & Mary 61-54 on Thursday night.
Graham hit 10 of 13 shots.
Torrence Watson had 14 points for Elon (6-15, 3-5 Colonial Athletic Association). Hunter McIntosh added 13 points.
Ben Wight had 14 points for the Tribe (4-17, 3-5). Connor Kochera added 12 points and six rebounds. Brandon Carroll had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Appalachian State 61, Arkansas State 54
BOONE — Michael Almonacy registered 13 points as Appalachian State got past Arkansas State 61-54 on Thursday night.
Justin Forrest had 13 points for Appalachian State (13-9, 7-2 Sun Belt Conference), which earned its fifth straight win. Donovan Gregory added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Adrian Delph had 10 points.
Marquis Eaton had 13 points for the Red Wolves (13-5, 4-2). Norchad Omier added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Malcolm Farrington had 10 points.
Memphis 71, East Carolina 54
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Josh Minott had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lift Memphis to a 71-54 win over East Carolina on Thursday night.
Lester Quinones had 17 points for Memphis (11-8, 5-4 American Athletic Conference). Malcolm Dandridge added three blocks. Earl Timberlake had 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Tyler Harris, who was second on the Tigers in scoring entering the contest with 10 points per game, was held to only 3 points. He made 14 percent from behind the arc (1 of 7).
Tristen Newton had 19 points for the Pirates (11-8, 2-5). Vance Jackson added 12 rebounds. Alanzo Frink had seven rebounds.
The Tigers evened the season series against the Pirates. East Carolina defeated Memphis 72-71 on Jan. 15.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.