UNCW puts its two-game winning streak on the line early Wednesday when longtime rival Campbell visits Trask Coliseum for the 107th men’s basketball meeting between the two programs.
The Seahawks, 5-5, hit the floor in a noon tip-off after a thrilling 61-59 victory at High Point last Saturday. The contest marks UNCW’s fifth home appearance of the season, including its third home game in December.
Wednesday’s matchup will be carried locally on The Breeze, 95.9 FM, and aired on the CAA’s streaming partner, FloHoops.com. Play-by-play voice Mike Vaccaro and color analyst Marty Feurer will be on the call.
The Camels, 7-3, are off to a fast start behind a veteran lineup. Coach Kevin McGeehan’s team already owns victories over Marshall and Stetson and battled VCU and Georgia Southern in tightly contested games over the last two weeks.
“Campbell presents a tough challenge for us on both ends of the floor,” said Takayo Siddle, UNCW’s second-year head coach. “Defensively, we have to do a very good job of being sound, not giving up back cuts and being play-ready at all times. Offensively, we can’t settle. We have to do a good job getting the shots that we want.”
UNCW, behind Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week honoree Trazarien White, notched back-to-back victories last week over Mount Olive (85-55) and High Point. A native of Mansfield, Texas, White averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 61.1 percent from the floor in the two wins.
The Seahawks are going through their final tune-up for the CAA regular season race, which begins on Wednesday, Dec. 29, against preseason favorite Delaware. UNCW christens the new conference schedule with the loaded Blue Hens and defending conference champion Drexel two days later (Dec. 31).
“The non-conference schedule has given us everything we were looking for,” Siddle said. “We’ve traveled, played some tough opponents and played a lot of different styles. I like what the non-conference schedule has given us.”
Campbell returns its top 14 players, including all five starters, from last year’s team that reached the Big South Conference championship game. The Camels were picked to win the league’s North Division after posting a 17-10 overall record and 11-6 ledger in the Big South one year ago.
As expected, senior forward Cedric Henderson, Jr., a Preseason First-Team All-BSC pick, is carrying the load for the Camels by averaging 13.0 points and 6.2 rebounds. Campbell features a balanced attack with six players collecting at least eight points each contest.
Senior guard Jaylen Sims anchors the Seahawk attack with 11.2 points and 6.4 rebounds each game. Graduate guard Mike Okauru is chipping in 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest.
UNCW-CU NET NOTES
- The UNCW-CU rivalry is the longest series on record for the Seahawks – by far. UNCW and Campbell are lacing it up for the 107th time in a series that began in the fall of 1952. George Mason is the second-oldest rivalry (69 games) for the Seahawks.
- UNCW leads the series with Campbell, 62-44, including a commanding 42-13 advantage in NCAA Division I play. The Seahawks have won five of the last six pairings and seven of the last 10 clashes between the two rivals.
- UNCW and CU have squared off at nine different venues through the years. The Seahawks are 25-2 against the Camels at Trask Coliseum and have won 10 straight over CU in Wilmington.
- UNCW stands 6-2 against Campbell’s Kevin McGeehan in eight matchups and 3-1 against the Camel head coach at Trask Coliseum.
- The Seahawks have played nine of the 12 schools in the Big South Conference, compiling a 123-94 record (.565) against the loop. The CAA holds a 5-3 record against Big South Conference opponents this season. UNCW plays the CAA’s finale against a Big South foe Wednesday when Campbell visits Wilmington.
- The Seahawks are 5-5 in non-conference games following Saturday’s nail biter over the Panthers in High Point. Head Coach Takayo Siddle owns an 11-8 record against non-conference opponents over two seasons. He’s 5-1 at Trask Coliseum against non-conference foes.
- The Seahawks are playing the fourth of six contests against state opponents in 2021-22. UNCW is 3-0 vs. state teams after trimming Guilford in the home opener on Nov. 12 at Trask Coliseum, manhandling Mount Olive in Wilmington and taking down High Point on Saturday.
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