WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Just two days removed from a 23-point loss in their Colonial Athletic Association debut at VCU, the UNCW men’s basketball team finds itself smack in the middle of its longest rivalry on record when Campbell visits Trask Coliseum on Monday.
The Seahawks, 2-6, had their two-game winning streak snapped in convincing fashion with the 87-64 loss to the Rams. It was an eye-opener for Buzz Peterson’s young club.
“The VCU game was a disappointing game for us,” Peterson said before Sunday’s practice. “We have to put that game behind us and move on. Campbell is having a tremendous year. They have lost their last two games on the road, so I know they’ll come in here hungry.”
UNCW returns to its home floor for the first time in nearly a month. The Seahawks are making only their third home appearance of the new season and stand 0-2 at Trask Coliseum following close losses to Marshall and Davidson.
Freshman guard Adam Smith and junior forward Keith Rendleman continue to lead the Seahawks offensively. Smith has started all eight games and leads the team with 16.3 ppg., good enough for sixth overall in the CAA. Rendleman ranks second in scoring at 14.6 ppg and tops the squad in rebounding at 10.3 ppg.
Rendleman is coming off his fourth double double of the season and the 10th of his career, courtesy of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the VCU loss.
The Camels, meanwhile, have lost two straight away from home after opening the campaign at 8-1. Anchored by junior transfer Darren White, CU is averaging 81.1 ppg behind 51.8 percent shooting. White leads the club with 20.5 ppg, followed by freshman guard Trey Freeman (17.0 ppg) and senior forward Eric Griffin (17.6 ppg).
Monday represents the 97th meeting between UNCW and CU since the series began in the fall of 1952. UNCW leads the series, 55-41, including a 34-14 record in Wilmington and a commanding 35-10 advantage in NCAA Division I play. The Seahawks have won eight of the last 10 clashes between the two longtime rivals.
In the last game between the two foes, senior guard Junard Hartley drained a long three-pointer from deep in the left corner with less than two seconds remaining to lift Campbell to a 57-56 decision on Dec. 22, 2010, in Buies Creek. Hartley spoiled UNCW’s first appearance at the Pope Center with the dramatic finish.
In the last meeting between the two old rivals at Trask Coliseum, UNCW held Campbell scoreless over the first 6:31 of the contest and breezed to a 79-59 victory on Dec. 14, 2009. Campbell had its streak of 363 consecutive games with a 3-pointer snapped when the Camels went 0-for-6 behind the three-point arc.
The Seahawks are playing for the 12th time on Dec. 19, but have never faced the Camels on the date and stands 5-6 on the calendar date.
Following Monday’s clash, the Seahawks conclude the pre-holiday portion of their schedule with a Wednesday matchup at ACC member Wake Forest. UNCW knocked off WFU, 81-69, last season in Greensboro for their first victory over the Demon Deacons.