by Matthew MacCormack
BOSTON — There’s just something about the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks.
For the second time this season, the Northeastern men’s basketball survived an overtime saga against UNCW, this time in a 107-100 track meet at Matthews Arena on Saturday evening.
The Huskies (15-9, 8-4 CAA) upended the Seahawks (7-17, 4-8 CAA) in overtime, 81-77, in Wilmington on January 13th.
Redshirt junior point guard Vasa Pusica scored 23 of his 24 points in the second half and overtime on Saturday, while freshman big man Tomas Murphy notched a career-high 21 points on eight of 11 shooting from the field. The 107 points was the Huskies’ highest output of the season.
“A CAA game was scheduled and I think an ABA game broke out,” joked Northeastern Head Coach Bill Coen in the post-game presser.
“When you’re in a league as balanced as the CAA is, you know you’re gonna run into these games and situations. Nobody in this league is gonna run away from anybody.”
With the victory, Northeastern pulled into a momentary tie for second place in the conference with William & Mary (15-8, 8-4 CAA), which fell 91-79 against Drexel on Saturday.
Sophomore guard Ty Taylor paced the Seahawks with 27 points, including a banked three-pointer at the end of regulation that forced overtime, with both teams tied at 89-89. The Huskies used an second half surge to cruise to a 78-68 lead with 6:12 remaining in regulation, but the Seahawks mounted a 21-11 run to end the second half.
Pusica and Murphy combined to score the first 12 points in overtime, and the Huskies outscored the Seahawks 18-11 in the extra frame.
Pusica, a transfer from the University of San Diego, said that you can’t expect any easy wins in the conference, despite the Seahawk’s underwhelming record entering the game: “All the teams are good, there’s definitely no days off in the CAA.”
Up next for the Huskies is Thursday night’s contest at Delaware (11-13, 4-7 CAA). WRBB will not be broadcasting the game.