|Game||UNCW “Seahawks” Vs. Northeastern “Huskies”|
|Date||Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013|
|Site||Matthews Arena (5,066) | Boston, Mass.|
|Tickets||NU Ticket Information|
|TV | Radio||Sunny 104.5 FM | Free Live Video|
|Social Media||Facebook | Twitter|
|Head Coaches||Buzz Peterson||Bill Coen|
|Overall/Years||253-193 (15)||97-107 (7)|
|Scoring Leaders||Keith Rendleman – 16.0 ppg||Jonathan Lee – 16.3 ppg|
|Rebounding Leaders||Keith Rendleman – 10.5 rpg||Quincy Ford – 7.1 rpg|
|Video Preview||Buzz Peterson|
UNCW Seahawks travel to Boston for CAA road debut
BOSTON, Massachusetts – Almost one year to the day when the UNCW men’s basketball team won its first game at historic Matthews Arena, the Seahawks will try to repeat the feat Saturday with a 1 p.m. matchup against host Northeastern in the cozy venue.
The Seahawks, 5-8 overall and 0-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association, will be trying to even their conference slate after falling, 79-74, to Towson in their CAA debut Wednesday at Trask Coliseum.
“We made a nice comeback in the second half against Towson, but came up just short,” said Buzz Peterson, UNCW’s third-year head coach. “It will be extremely important to come out ready to play tomorrow against a very good Northeastern team. They’ve been involved in several close games this season and won their conference debut on the road against George Mason.”
UNCW lost its fifth consecutive CAA opener when newcomer Jerrelle Benimon helped the Tigers build a 44-28 lead at intermission and hold off the Seahawks down the stretch. The Georgetown transfer wound up with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Peterson said NU presents a different dilemma than Towson’s physical inside presence. The Huskies, 6-7, are a long, athletic bunch with a deep bench in Bill Coen’s seventh season on the bench. UNCW upended NU, 70-62, on Jan. 4, 2012, to snap a four-game drought in Matthews Arena.
“Northeastern played the early part of its schedule with some key injuries, so their record is a little deceptive,” Peterson noted. “They have two veteran guards in Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith, plus a good supporting cast with Quincy Ford and Reggie Spencer. We’re expected a very tough challenge.”
Lee has returned to the lineup after sitting out the first nine games with a foot injury. In four starts, he is averaging 16.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Smith, meanwhile, is contributing 16.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. Ford (13.0 ppg) and Spencer (11.5) give the Huskies and balanced scoring attack with four players in double digits.
NU has alternated wins and losses in its last four games, but rallied past the Patriots after trailing, 37-30, at the break. Lee poured in 20 points, Ford chipped in 18 and freshman guard Zach Stahl came off the bench to contribute 15 in the impressive road victory.
The Huskies torched the GMU defense for 64.3 percent from the field in the second half and wound up hitting 52.8 percent on the night. Peterson said, “They are a patient team offensively and have a lot of scorers. We will have to be focused defensively “
After winning its home opener against cross-town rival Boston University, the Huskies have lost five straight at Matthews, including a 79-73 decision to UNC Asheville in their last home outing on Dec. 18. UNCW trimmed UNCA, 67-59, in the season opener for both teams back on Nov. 11 in Wilmington.
Seahawk senior forward Keith Rendleman scored 14 points and snatched 21 rebounds to hike his season averages to 16.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg. He is the lone player in double figures for the Seahawks, who are averaging 60.8 ppg and shooting 41.0 percent from the field.
Winning on the road has proven a difficult task for the Seahawks, who are still seeking their first road win of the season in eight tries. The Seahawks have lost 13 consecutive road games dating back to a 68-66 triumph at William & Mary on Jan. 21, 2012.
Saturday is only the 11th meeting between the two schools. Since NU joined the CAA in the 2005-06 season, the Huskies have built a 6-4 advantage in the series. The two teams meet again on Feb. 16 at Trask Coliseum.
Opened in 1910, Mathews Arena, which seats 5,066 for hoops, is the world’s oldest multi-purpose athletic building and houses the world’s oldest artificial ice sheet. The facility, which has undergone many renovations through the years, gave birth to the Boston Bruins, the Boston Olympics and the New England Whalers and is considered the cradle of high school and college hockey in Greater Boston. The hockey programs at Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Tufts and, of course, Northeastern all had their geneses at Matthews. The Boston Celtics also called the facility home.
Peterson and his team will take on the Huskies without the services of reserve guard Tyree Graham, who has been suspended for the contest. Graham scored eight points in the first game after the holiday break at Campbell and exploded for a career-high 18 off the bench in Wednesday’s loss to the Tigers.
Saturday’s 1 p.m. tip-off is the first leg of a two-game conference road swing for the Seahawks. Peterson’s club returns home briefly before traveling to Harrisonburg, Va., on Wednesday to battle the Dukes at the JMU Convocation Center.