GAME NOTES: The UNC Wilmington Seahawks are set to host the Wofford Terriers in the Wilmington division of the Nations of Coaches Classic at Trask Coliseum.
Wofford opened the tournament on Friday afternoon with a 56-51 win over Hampton, rallying back from a 13-point deficit. The Terriers will wrap up a five-game road swing with this tilt. Friday's victory was their first win outside of Spartanburg this season.
UNCW has also struggled in unfamiliar confines with three straight road losses entering this matchup. Most recently, the Seahawks were dealt a lopsided 66-40 loss from Purdue on Wednesday night. The tournament will conclude on Sunday with UNCW taking on Hampton.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs, and both teams enter the game needing to pick up the level of play.
Wofford capitalized on 24 turnovers by Hampton to rally for the win on Friday. Lee Skinner scored a career-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Karl Cochran added 18 points, but head coach Mike Young said he felt fortunate to win after watching his team commit 10 first-half turnovers. Fortunately for Wofford, the winless Pirates were even sloppier with the basketball. The Terriers were outrebounded by 12, but they made up for it with a key 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers for the game. They took their largest lead at six with less than a minute to play in regulation. On the season, Cochran leads the team with 17.7 points per game, while Skinner is averaging 12.7 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds.
For UNCW, Keith Rendleman leads the way with 14.8 ppg and 8.8 rpg. He is shooting a solid 51.2 percent from the floor and also paces the squad with seven steals. However, Rendleman hasn't gotten very much help from his supporting cast, as he has doubled the output of second-leading scorer Tanner Milson (7.3 ppg). As a team, the Seahawks are shooting a mere 36.5 percent from the floor and are averaging just 53.0 ppg. Conversely, opponents have shot 48.4 percent and are averaging 77.8 points against UNCW. After trailing Purdue on the road by only one point at halftime earlier this week, the Seahawks made only 4-of-21 field goals (.190) in the second half. Rendleman tallied 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss, while Milson scored 13.
The Terriers were fortunate to get past turnover-prone Hampton on Friday. This time around, they'll face a UNCW team that can't seem to find the bottom of the net. Still, don't count out a resurgent effort by the Seahawks playing on their home floor.
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