By: Jeremy Leopold
Wilmington, N.C.– For the second time in ten days, the Northeastern Huskies fell way behind at the half to UNCW and again, they made it interesting down the stretch before eventually faltering. After trailing by 23 at the break, the Huskies clawed back and cut the deficit to just four midway thought the second half before losing 74-65 in Trask Coliseum in the final game of the regular season.
The Huskies finish the season 15-15 overall, and 8-10 in the CAA. With the loss, NU became locked in the No. 6 seed for the conference tournament next weekend in Charleston, setting up a bout with No. 3 Towson on Saturday night.
The Huskies’ fatigue showed in the first half, as NU was playing on less than 48 hours rest with just seven players after a miraculous double overtime win in Elon two nights ago. Northeastern quickly fell behind 15-0, with their first basket coming at the 13:17 mark in the first half. Northeastern senior guard T.J. Williams (24 points) had 14 of the Huskies 17 first half points with the only other bucket coming from freshman forward Max Boursiquot’s three with 10 second left in the frame.
The Huskies would wind up down 40-17 at the break.
“We had a very flat and uninspired first half,” said Head Coach Bill Coen. “Part of that was maybe caused by playing double-overtime the other night and being shorthanded.”
After a back and forth start to the second half, a jumper from UNCW sophomore guard C.J. Bryce (23 points) pushed the UNCW lead to 51-31 at the 13:20 mark. Northeastern then went on a 15-0 run to cut the deficit to just five with 9:33 to go.
“I thought we caught our second win in the second half; we dug down,” Coen said.
Northeastern and UNCW traded buckets and stops the rest of the way until a three from Northeastern freshman Bolden Brace (12 points) at the 1:23 mark made it 68-64.
The game would get no closer. UNCW Seniors Denzel Ingram and Abrose Mosley knocked down their free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Seahawks, who set a program record with their 26th win of the year.
“They just made a couple too many shots for us and we spotted them way too much in the first half to make it interesting,” Coen said.
This win for the Seahawks (26-5, 15-3 CAA) gives them their first outright CAA regular season title since 2003. They held a share of the title the past two years. The Seahawks will play on Saturday at noon against the winner of the first round matchup between Hofstra and Delaware.
Northeastern will play Towson at 8:30 on Saturday night. WRBB coverage will begin at 8. Follow this link for our exclusive live stream: http://www.wrbbsports.com/listen-live/.