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UNCW defeats Drexel - best win of the season ?

READ MORE: UNCW holds off Drexel Dragons
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WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) -- Keith Rendleman’s desperation bank shot in the lane with just over a minute left to play gave UNCW the lead for good and the Seahawks went on to outslug Drexel, 51-43, in a defensive-minded Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball game on Tuesday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks won their second straight and moved within one game of .500 at 13-14 overall and 7-9 in the CAA. The Dragons dropped their second game in three outings and slipped to 17-9 and 9-7.

Senior point guard Chad Tomko and sophomore forward Keith Rendleman both notched double doubles for the Seahawks. Tomko collected his fifth career double double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Rendleman, meanwhile, racked up his sixth career double double with 15 points and 10 boards.

Freshman forward Dartaye Ruffin came off the bench to collect 16 points and 13 caroms, and was the only Drexel player to reach double digits.

In a game that featured rugged inside play and frigid shooting by the Dragons, the Seahawks managed to inch out to a 21-20 halftime lead and held on down the stretch as Drexel struggled offensively. Bruiser Flint’s club finished connecting on just 26.2 percent of its shots, including a dismal 1-for-15 behind the arc.

UNCW wasn’t faring much better, but the Seahawks shot 50 percent after intermission and led by as many as eight points midway through the period before hanging on to clip the Dragons in the only regular season meeting between the two clubs.

After Ruffin pulled the Dragons within 32-30 with 13:33 left on a pair of free throws, the Seahawks responded with a 6-0 mini-run. A driving layup by Tomko capped the spurt and UNCW was on top, 38-30, for its largest lead of the contest.

Samme Givens scored on a tip-in, however, and Gerald Colds made two baskets to pull the Dragons back to 38-36 with 6:41 on the clock. Another Coles layup at the 3:04 mark kept Drexel within striking distance, 41-40, before Rendleman’s timely off balance jumper.

With the shot clock winding down, Rendleman heaved the ball at the glass and it banked in off the backboard to increase the margin to 43-40 at 1:31. Tomko then added another layup and the Seahawks iced the game with four free throws in the final 50 seconds to snap Drexel’s two-game winning streak at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks play the second leg of a three-game homestand on Saturday when Charleston Southern visits for an ESPN BracketBusters matchup at 7 p.m. The Dragons entertain Kent State on Friday in another ESPN BracketBusters clash at 9 p.m. at the Daskalakis Center in Philadelphia.

GAME NOTES: UNCW had three assists and Drexel wound up with two as the two teams combined for just five assists in the contest…The three assists was a school record for UNCW, one below the four dished out in 1979 vs. East Tennessee State and tied in 1992 at George Mason…The Seahawks had 10 blocks on the night…Drexel did not score in the final 5:08 of the first half…The two teams combined for 3-for-28 from three-point range…The Seahawks went just 15-for-25 at the free throw line…Drexel’s guards went a combined 7-for-42 from the floor…Drexel won the battle of the boards by a slim 41-39 margin...UNCW is now 12-6 lifetime against DU…The Seahawks have won two in a row over the Dragons and stands 6-2 at Trask Coliseum against the Philadelphia team.

article courtesy UNCW Sports Information

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