By Ethan Marsh, Reporter
WILMINGTON, NC - The UNCW men’s basketball team came into Thursday Night’s matchup with Elon, as Coach Kevin Keatts said, looking to stay on the course of this successful season. The Seahawks continued this ongoing task by making it past Elon 86-82 at Trask Coliseum. The Screamin’ Seahawks and Team Teal spirit group made up of UNCW Students deemed this game as a “White Out” for the student population and gave out White Seahawks shirts to students. There was an outstanding presence of the student population cheering on the team and creating the competitive atmosphere that exists in Trask Coliseum as the Seahawks are creating their best season of the past decade.. Student Athletes were also recognized at halftime for outstanding achievement by having an average 3.21 GPA average.
This game marked the 15th time Elon and UNCW had faced each other in a game. The Seahawks win improved their overall record against Elon to 8-7. This marked the 4th time the two teams had
played since Elon joined the CAA conference last season and the win for the Seahawks gave them the advantage in the series to 4-1. This game continued the season of the ages as the Seahawks made history by winning their 10th straight game and UNCW had received votes this past week for the AP top 25 for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The 2005-06 season was also the last time the Seahawks won the CAA conference. Time will tell if the 2015-16 Seahawks will make more history as this season of the ages continues.
Coach Kevin Keatts has made a big impact on the Seahawk program since he arrived in 2014 and he made impact tonight as he was telling his team “Go,Go,Go”. This game was a competitive one. The Elon Phoenix gave up a big fight but Elon only led once towards the beginning and it was for a very short period. UNCW led the rest of the game. Elon stayed close due to outperforming UNCW in overall Field Goal Percentage 52.8% to UNCW’s 43.1% and in Free Throw Percentage 77.8% to UNCW’s 72.7%. The category the Seahawks led in was 3-Point Percentage at 35.3% to Elon’s 31.3%. Elon stayed close throughout the game due to poor defensive effort and subpar offensive effort on UNCW’s part.
Sophomore Guard Jordan Talley came up big for the Seahawks towards the ending of the matchup as he scored 6 points in the final seconds to claim the victory. Talley led all scorers at 19. Junior Guard Denzel Ingram was right behind Talley at at 18, making 2 3-pointers. Senior Guard Craig Ponder was an ultimate presence as he made 3 3-pointers en route to a 13-point performance. The 3-point performance was what kept the Seahawks in position for the victory as if the team had not led in that statistic, they probably would not have won as Elon led in the other two percentage categories. Elon only led once but did come 1 point within of the Seahawks lead on two separate occasions. When Elon came that close, the Seahawks made the plays needed to lengthen the lead for the time being and the crowd came to a roar.
This win improved the UNCW Men’s Basketball Team record to 19-5, 10-1 at home, and 11-2 in the conference. This win did indeed make a record 10th straight win and the Seahawks look to continue this success going forward. This matchup was the first game of their current two-game home stand. The second game of the home stand will take place on Saturday, February 13th at 3 p.m versus James Madison University.