|Game||UNCW “Seahawks” Vs. Davidson “Wildcats”|
|Date||Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012|
|Site||John M. Belk Arena (5,223) | Davidson, N.C.|
|Tickets||Davidson Ticket Information|
|TV | Radio||Sunny 104.5 FM | ESPN3.com|
|Social Media||Facebook | Twitter|
|Head Coaches||Buzz Peterson||Bob McKillop|
|Overall/Years||252-191 (15)||431-275 (24)|
|Scoring Leaders||Keith Rendleman – 14.8 ppg||D’Mon Brooks – 15.3 ppg|
|Rebounding Leaders||Keith Rendleman – 9.3 rpg||D’Mon Brooks – 6.2 rpg|
|Video Preview||Buzz Peterson|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW men’s basketball team appears in the Charlotte area for the first time since 1995 when the Seahawks visit Davidson Saturday for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Wildcats.
The Seahawks, 4-5, take on the 5-4 Wildcats at John M. Belk Arena in the 10th of 12 non-conference games on the 2012-13 slate. UNCW still has non-league dates remaining with UNC Greensboro (Dec. 19) and Campbell (Dec. 29) before entering Colonial Athletic Association play early next month.
“We have a lot of alumni in the Charlotte region, so we should have strong support at the game,” said Buzz Peterson, UNCW’s third-year coach. “I thought our guys gave a good effort last weekend at Georgia Tech and it will take that same type of focus to be successful against Davidson.”
The Seahawks drained a season-best nine three-pointers and led the Yellow Jackets at intermission before Brian Gregory’s club rallied over the final five minutes. Tech used a 16-4 run to catch up with the Seahawks and avoid an upset at newly-refurbished Hank McCamish Pavilion.
Davidson and UNCW are meeting for the eighth time overall. The Seahawks won the first four games of the series, but the Wildcats have claimed two of the last three clashes, including a narrow 70-67 decision last November at Trask Coliseum.
The Wildcats and veteran coach Bob McKillop return all five starters from last year’s 25-8 team and are off to a 5-4 start this season, losing to New Mexico, UW-Milwaukee, Gonzaga and UNC Charlotte. Davidson owns wins over Vanderbilt, West Virginia and UT-Chattanooga already.
“Coach McKillop is a very good basketball coach and they will not beat themselves,” said Peterson. “Davidson has a veteran team with players who know their roles. They are one of the favorites to win the Southern Conference and are off to an excellent start.”
A past recruiting target of Peterson’s, 6-7 senior forward D’Mon Brooks, paces the Wildcats in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg). Senior forward Jake Cohen is chipping in 11.3 ppg for McKillop’s team.
The Wildcats are a strong shooting squad. Davidson is connecting on 44.0 percent from the floor and ranks seventh in the nation with a 78.2 percent aim at the charity stripe, making 147-of-188 free throws this season.
Senior guard Nik Cochran was the catalyst in Davidson’s last outing, a 63-56 victory over SoCon rival Wofford last Saturday. The 6-3 Canadian recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Cochran also had three assists and three steals to go along with a 10-for-11 night at the free throw line.
The Seahawks have alternated wins and losses over the last four games. The losses came by a total of 10 points to Marshall and Georgia Tech.
“We’ve narrowed the rotation a bit and are playing with more confidence,” added Peterson. “It’s been a tough week with exams and practice schedules, but I think our guys will be ready.”
The Seahawks are looking to break an extended dry spell away from home. UNCW has dropped all five road games this season and has lost 11 in a row dating back to a 68-66 verdict at William & Mary last January.
UNCW, 1-0 vs. the SoCon following a 49-37 victory over Wofford in the Nations of Coaches Classic, plays back-to-back games against Peterson’s former league. The UNCW skipper coached five seasons in two different stints at Appalachian State, leading the Mountaineers to four 20-win campaigns.
Saturday marks a homecoming of sorts for Seahawk senior forward Keith Rendleman, the team’s leading scorer (14.8 ppg) and rebounder (9.3 rpg). Rendleman grew up in nearby Iron Station, N.C., and attended East Lincoln High School. He is expected to have a large turnout of family and friends attend the game just 25 miles down the road.
Rendleman is making his 88th start in 102 career appearances. He ranks 11th all-time in scoring with 1,138 points and second in rebounding with 825 boards. Rendleman has reached double figures in scoring in 56 career games and double digits in rebounding 33 times.
Following Saturday’s game, the Seahawks return home to entertain UNC Greensboro on Wednesday (Dec. 19) in their final game before the Christmas break.