By Ethan Marsh, Reporter
Wilmington, NC - UNCW men’s basketball prepped for the regular season as the team competed in their exhibition game Sunday afternoon. The Seahawks came out victorious as they dominated in style against Barton College. After coming off a turnaround season in 2014-15 where the team finished 18-14 to share the CAA conference title, the team has been predicted to improve this season. The team exhibited these qualities as they cruised to a victory in the exhibition game. Kevin Keatts is in his second year as head coach after winning CAA coach of the year award in the 2014-15 season. Kevin Keatts has been successful throughout his coaching career and looks to continue the team’s success this season.
This game was a showcase to the public of what there is to come for the UNCW men’s basketball team this upcoming season. The Seahawks came out in stride as they defeated the Barton Bulldogs convincingly 81-51 behind great team effort, chemistry, and all the players making beneficial contributions. Freshman, forward Trey Grundy was thoroughly present as he was the top scorer at thirteen points. Chris Flemmings and Dylan Sherwood also contributed with twelve points. Craig Ponder acted as the leader of the team as he made free throws and scored nine points.
The Barton College Bulldogs were not just walked over as they held the lead for part of the 1st half and challenged the Seahawks efficiently. Barton’s coaching staff was ecstatic and shouting statements such as “Go get it!” and “Shoot it!” to motivate their players to play aggressively. Kevin Keatts and the Seahawks coaching staff was more reserved in their coaching style and it led to more systematic play through the Seahawks team, which resulted in an easy win. UNCW started pulling away towards the end of the 1st half into the beginning of the 2nd half. The Seahawks largest lead was when they led 68-36 in the 2nd half. It was a well-contested game in the beginning and it led to being a route. UNCW dominated the Bulldogs in the second half. The UNCW Seahawks Men’s Basketball team will officially open their regular season on Friday, November 13th at home versus Milligan.