WILMINGTON, NC – Senior guard Chad Tomko drained a 15-footer on the right elbow with three seconds remaining to spark UNCW past Morehead State, 60-58, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Thursday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks won their second straight game to improve to 2-1 on the season. The Eagles, making their first road appearance of the new campaign, lost for the first time in three tries and now stand 2-1.
Junior guard Trevor Deloach came off the bench for the Seahawks to lead all scorers with a career-high 17 points and notched his first career double-double with 14 rebounds. Tomko added 12 points and freshman Donte Morales had 11 for UNCW, which outrebounded the Eagles, 33-32.
Reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player-of-the-Year Kenneth Faried paced the Eagles with 16 points and 13 boards. Junior guard Terrance Hill added 12 points and Sam Goodman scored 11 for MSU.
Playing a close matchup in the early-season Global Sports Invitational, the two teams locked up in a tight duel before the Seahawks sent the 3,777 faithful into a frenzy with the thrilling finish. No more than six points separated the two teams in the game, which included 10 ties and 13 lead changes.
After MSU had tied the game on Demonte Harper’s coast-to-coast layup with 35 seconds left, UNCW skipper Buzz Peterson called a timeout to set up the last shot. Tomko gathered in the inbounds pass, scooted to the right side past Goodman and drilled the game-winner into the basket.
MSU head coach Donnie Tyndall called a timeout to draw up a play, but Harper stepped on the sideline as he raced down the court, giving the Seahawks their second consecutive dramatic win.
MSU pushed ahead, 51-46, with 8:19 left before the Seahawks climbed back into it. After Deloach connected on a jumper on the left baseline with 10:40 remaining to bring the Seahawks within 47-46, reserve forward Romaric Lasme scored on a putback and Faried following with one of his three dunks to push MSU’s margin to five points, 51-46.
But UNCW answered with a 10-2 run to grab a 56-53 lead at 2:23 when Morales sank a pair of free throws and drained a three pointer. But Bowman responded with a triple from the right side to knot the game at 56-all.
Tomko then scored on a shot on the left elbow with 1:26 on the clock for a 58-56 edge until Harper scooped up a loose ball and raced coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the score again, setting up Tomko’s dramatics.
In a see-saw first half, MSU jumped out to a quick 9-3 start behind Faried, who scored six points in the spurt to give the Eagles a six-point advantage just five minutes into the contest.
Trailing 11-6, the Seahawks scored 10 of the next 12 points, however, to build a 16-13 lead. Deloach scored eight unanswered points and UNCW led, 16-13, midway through the half. Deloach wound up with 11 points off the bench for the Seahawks in the first period.
UNCW finally gained some separation in the final two minutes for a 33-31 edge at intermission after shooting 52.4 percent from the floor in the opening half.
The Seahawks continue their busy November slate on Saturday when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to battle fifth-ranked Ohio State at Value City Arena.
Article courtesy UNCW Sports Information