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Seahawks "buzz" the Highlanders for second consecutive win


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Only four members of the Seahawk dance team showed up to dance at the UNCW men's basketball game on Saturday night at Trask Coliseum. That didn't deter Buzz Peterson's team from showing up though against the Radford Highlanders when it was time to peform on the court. Neither did the long layoff from playing a game in Trask Coliseum. Saturday's game against Radford was the first for UNCW at Trask Coliseum in a month.

Article below courtesy UNCW Spors Information.

UNCW kicked off a string of three games in five days before the holiday break by clipping Radford, 64-50, in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks won for the third time in four outings and improved to 5-4 on the season, avenging a loss on the road last year to Radford. The Highlanders dropped their eighth straight and fell to 2-8 after a pair of season-opening victories.

Senior point guard Chad Tomko led the Seahawks in scoring for the fourth time this season with 16 points. Freshmen Tanner Milson and Donte Morales chipped in 15 points apiece for UNCW, which overcame 18 turnovers with 6-for-12 shooting behind the arc in a decisive second half.

Freshman forward Tolga Cerrah poured in a career-high 16 points to pace the Highlanders. Junior forward Jonathan Edwards scored 11 and sophomore guard Blake Smith had 10. Radford shot a chilly 37.2 percent from the floor and committed 17 turnovers in the loss.

After leading, 26-21, at the half, the Seahawks scored six of the first eight points in the final stanza for a 32-23 advantage and then used an 11-0 run late in the contest to gain much-needed separation from the Highlanders.

After sophomore forward Keith Rendleman sank a free throw with 16:28 remaining to put the Seahawks in control, Radford roared back with a string of eight unanswered points to pull within, 32-31. A triple by Jareal Smith from the top of the key with 14:41 left vaulted the pesky Highlanders back into the contest.

The Seahawks increased the margin back to 42-34 when Trevor Deloach connected on a floater in the paint at 9:31 when UNCW got three looks at the bucket.

Radford managed to chop the lead to five points two more times before the Seahawks sealed the hard-earned win with clutch long range shooting down the stretch. Consecutive treys by Tomko, Morales and Milson stunned the Highlanders and the margin ballooned to 54-40 at 6:44.

UNCW recorded its largest lead, 60-43, with 3:53 left on the clock when Tomko converted both ends of a bonus situation. The free throws capped an 18-6 run that helped the Seahawks improve to 4-3 lifetime against the Big South Conference school.

UNCW forged out to a 26-21 lead at intermission after shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and holding the Highlanders to 33.3 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

Four of UNCW's five starters scoring in the first period and the Seahawks led by as many as seven points at the 8:54 mark before RU sliced the deficit to five points at intermission.

The Seahawks wrap up their mini-homestand on Monday with a 7 p.m. tip-off against Missouri Valley Conference member Illinois State. The Highlanders, meanwhile, travel to Gainesville, Fla., on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. contest against Florida's Gators.

GAME NOTES: UNCW moved over .500 for the first time since a win on Nov. 18 against Morehead State...The Seahawks are now 3-0 at home...Buzz Peterson stands 4-2 lifetime against the Highlanders...Peterson used the same starting lineup for the fourth consecutive contest...The CAA improved to 10-0 against the Big South Conference this season...Freshman Donte Morales added four assists, two blocks and two steals with his 15 points...The Seahawks owned a slight 30-29 advantage on the boards...Radford came up with 10 steals in the contest...UNCW went 2-for-7 behind the arc in the first half and 6-for-12 after halftime...The RU bench picked up a technical foul with 4:24 left in the game.

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