Wilmington, NC – Sophomore guard Trazarien White’s 17 points anchored four Seahawks in double-figures to help UNCW crush NCAA Division II Allen, 104-55, in the men’s basketball home opener on Friday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks, who shot 59.7 percent (43-of-72), evened their record at 1-1 on the young season after a season-opening loss at top-ranked North Carolina coupled with Friday’s blowout. It was Allen’s first appearance of 2022-23.
White was one of three starters, along with Amari Kelly (14) and Shykeim Phillips (10), reach double digits. Sophomore forward Eric Van Der Heijden contributed 12 points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range.
Senior guard Darius Williams paced Allen, which shot 40.4 percent (19-of-47), with 19 points and was joined by Peyton Weathersby (13) and Cameron Sembly (11) in double figures.
“It was a fun night for our guys,” said third-year Head Coach Takayo Siddle. “We needed a game like that. We made our adjustments tonight. We had 27 assists on 43 made field goals with only seven turnovers. I thought we really grew tonight.”
UNCW collected the most assists (27) in the Siddle era, capped by a dish from freshman guard Nolan Hodge to graduate forward Victor Enoh, who slammed it home with 2:14 to go to push the Seahawks over the century mark for the first time since Dec. 9, 2020, vs. St. Andrews.
Kelly and White combined for 19 points as the Seahawks raced out to a 22-4 lead six minutes into the contest. The duo set the offensive tone early, hitting each of their first four shots.
The teams traded buckets for the next five minutes before Weathersby converted back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 34-18 with 8:59 remaining in the half.
That would be the closest the Yellow Jackets would come as UNCW tightened its defense and limited Allen to one field goal over the final nine minutes while outscoring the visitors, 25-5, to take a commanding 59-23 advantage into the break.
Hodge capped a seven-point spurt with a dunk at the 12:41 mark of the second half to push the margin to 77-49. Every Seahawk played at least four minutes on Friday night. Reserve guard Makoa Surigao converted a driving layup with 30 seconds on the clock to cement the 104-55 win.
The Seahawks next embark on a 3,600-mile journey to Norman, Okla., and Storrs, Conn., to face Power 5 opponents Oklahoma and UConn. The trip starts on Tuesday night when UNCW takes on the Sooners in an 8 p.m. tip at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Source: Joe Browning, UNCW Senior Associate A.D.