January 3, 2012By Cavalier Dave Forrester of Hugh M Cummings High School
UNCW senior Matt Wilson made a tip-in with 1.4 seconds remaining as the Seahawks rallied to down Campbell, 67-65, in men's basketball Monday night in Trask Coliseum.
UNCW, which trailed by as many as 11 in the second half, won its third in four games and raised its record to 3-6 on the year. The Fighting Camels lost their third straight and fell to 8-4. With the game tied at 65-all and 21 seconds remaining, the Seahawks held the ball for the last shot. Junior Donte Morales drove to the basket and lofted an attempt that drew iron and Wilson followed the attempt with a tip-in for the winning basket. Wilson finished with seven points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Morales scored a team-high 16 points. Junior Keith Rendleman and freshman KK Simmons also finished in double figures, posting 12 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman Cedrick Williams grabbed 13 boards as UNCW owned a 48-41 advantage on the glass.
The Campbell duo of junior Darren White and senior Eric Griffin led the Camels' offensive charge, with White notching a game-high 29 points. Griffin recorded a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Down by two with under a minute to play, Simmons made a driving layup to beat the shot clock with 44 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 65-all. It UNCW's first lead since the 9:07 mark of the first half,when a three-pointer by White gave Campbell a 19-16 lead. CU had an opportunity to retake the lead, but White's foul line jumper came up short and the Seahawks took possession with a chance to win.
In the first half, the Seahawks led by six early and regained a four-point advantage,13-9, after sophomore Tanner Milson's layin with 11:55 remaining in the stanza. But that was when White and Griffin took over for the Camels. White buried 11 points to lead a 15-3 Campbell run capped at 7:58 when the Danville, Va., native hit a trey to give the Camels a 22-16 lead.
White and Griffin continued to lead the way for Campbell, punctuated when White knifed through the defense to make a buzzer-beating lay-in at the end of the first half. In fact, the duo tallied all but two of the Camel's 34 points in the opening period.
UNCW, meanwhile, struggled on the offensive side of the court, shooting only 25.8 percent in the half, and headed to the break trailing 34-26. Rendleman was the first half high scorer for the Seahawks with eight markers.
In the second, Campbell slowly built its lead out to as many as 11 when Griffin hit free throw at the 14:57 mark. Not to be denied, however, the Seahawks fought back to within one, 52-51, on the back of a 9-0 run finished by a jumper in the paint by Williams.
At the end, Wilson's basket capped a 6-0 run to end the contest for UNCW.
The Seahawks close their hectic pre-holiday stretch on Wednesday at Wake Forest in the Seahawks' second game against an ACC opponent this year. Campbell begins a brief two-game road swing Thursday at Appalachian State.
GAME NOTES: White and Griffin combined to score 32 of the Camels' 34 first half points ... UNCW now leads the all-time series between the squads, 56-41 ... The Camels came into the game tied for 15th in the nation in scoring at 81.8 points per game, but the Seahawks held Campbell to their second-lowest point total of the year ... UNCW outscored Campbell 38-8 in bench points, led by Donte Morales' team-high 16 ... The Camels shot only 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from the charity stripe in the contest ... After tallying a season-high 28 turnovers against VCU, UNCW cleaned up the giveaway stat line against Campbell, committing a season-low five turnovers ... Matt Wilson's buzzer-beater marks the second year in a row the UNCW-Campbell rivalry has been settled on a last second shot, as senior Junard Hartley buried a long-range trey with less than two seconds remaining to give the Camels the victory last season ... The Seahawks outrebounded the Camels, 48-41, including a 23-11 advantage on the offensive glass ... UNCW shot 32.4 percent from the floor, the team's lowest percentage of the season and the fourth-lowest in the Buzz Peterson era.