WILLIAMSBURG, VA (WWAY) -- Senior guard Chad Tomko scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as UNCW gave first-year coach Buzz Peterson a memorable inaugural Colonial Athletic Association victory with a 61-59 men's basketball decision over William & Mary on Monday night at Kaplan Arena.
The Seahawks, who nipped the Tribe, 62-61, almost one year ago to the day, improved to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in the CAA with their second thriller in as many seasons at Kaplan Arena. The Tribe lost its fourth straight and fell to 5-9 and 0-2.
"It was just a tremendous effort by our team," said Peterson. "I could tell William and Mary was getting more aggressive after halftime. Chad hit some big shots and Keith hit two big shots late in the game for us."
Tomko went 7-for-14 from the field, 5-for-8 behind the arc and added six assists in the win. Sophomore forward Keith Rendleman added his third career double double after scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Junior guard Quinn McDowell paced the Tribe with 17 points and freshman Kyle Gaillard added 14 points off the bench for W&M, which rallied from 14 points down in the second half to almost pull the game out.
UNCW opened up a 31-26 halftime lead behind 50 percent shooting, including 5-for-7 from long range, and continue its barrage in the second period, finishing 9-for-20 from deep.
With Tomko leading the way, the Seahawks started the second half with a 9-2 run to pull ahead, 40-26, at 16:12. Tomko stole the ball and raced downcourt for a layup and UNCW was appeared in control.
Minutes later, the lead ballooned to 14 points, 44-30, when Rendleman connected on a nifty spin move in the paint at 14:52.
W&M battled back behind Gaillard and McDowell. Trailing 54-42 at 8:42, Gaillard started a 10-0 spurt and McDowell's triple from the top of the key brought the Tribe within, 54-52, with three minutes left to play.
The two teams traded baskets before Tomko fired in his fifth trifecta of the contest to push the lead to 59-54 with just under two minutes on the clock, but McDowell converted a layup 20 seconds later to make the score 59-56.
W&M rookie Brandon Britt the missed the front end of a bonus situation and Trevor Deloach converted both ends of a one-and-one to increase the score to 61-56 with nine seconds left. A three ball by Doug Howard at the buzzer closed the final outcome to 61-59.
The two teams opened the New Year and resumption of CAA play by getting off to a rocky start, combining for 2-for-7 from the floor with six turnovers in the opening four minutes. Things heated up, however, as both squads drained their first three baskets behind the arc. Over the first 13 minutes, no more than three points separated the teams and the clubs combined for 7-of-10 from deep.
With the game knotted at 19-all, Gaillard converted a steal and layup and Julian Boatner followed with a trifecta from the left wing as the Tribe nosed ahead, 24-19, at 5:25.
UNCW answered with eight straight points to regain control. Tomko started the string with a three ball deep in the right corner and a pair of free throws by Matt Wilson with 4:06 left gave the Seahawks a 27-24 advantage with the half winding down.
After Britt made a steal and layup at 1:20, UNCW scored the final four points of the half on a dunk by Rendleman and a basket in the paint by Deloach for a 31-26 edge at intermission.
The Seahawks continue CAA play on Wednesday when Georgia State visits Trask Coliseum for a 7 p.m. tip-off to open a three-game homestand for Buzz Peterson's club. The Tribe visits Delaware on Wednesday for its next CAA game in a 7 p.m. clash at the Bob Carpenter Center.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks are 6-1 when leading at halftime going into the game...UNCW had just four turnovers in the second half and 12 overall for the game...UNCW shot 43.8 percent from the floor...The Seahawks converted 10-of-13 at the charity stripe and all six of its tries after intermission...Seven of the eight players who saw action scored for the Seahawks...It was Peterson's first career matchup against W&M...The Seahawks have won two in a row for the third time this season...UNCW is now 37-19 lifetime against the Tribe and 18-10 in Williamsburg...W&M's bench outscored UNCW's, 31-11...Both teams had seven steals.
article courtesy UNCW Sports Information