UNCW Men’s Basketball downs JWU in season opener


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW Sports)–Sophomore guard Jaylen Sims scored the first bucket of the season on his way to a career-best 19 points as UNCW opened the 2019-20 men’s basketball campaign with a 103-83 victory against Johnson & Wales on Tuesday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks (1-0) surpassed the centennial mark for the first time since dropping 113 points against Allen on Nov. 18, 2018 – a span of 29 games. JWU now stands 1-1.

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“It was great for the new players to get the opening night jitters out of the way,” said UNCW third-year Head Coach C.B. McGrath. “I was happy to see Jaylen (Sims) making shots and be aggressive. I think he can do some things off the bounce and make some good plays for us.”

Sims was a crisp 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range and was one of five Seahawks to score in double-figures.

Junior guard Jay Estime’ contributed 13 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Jake Boggs nearly matched him with his own 13 points and five rebounds, along with three dunks.

Guards Shykeim Phillips and Carter Skaggs each chipped in 11 points to complete the double-figure quintet. Every player scored for the Seahawks, who shot 49.3 percent on the night.

The Wildcats were led by senior guard Majerle Poole’s 21 points and six rebounds. Senior forward Antonio Smith registered the game’s lone double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

All eight newcomers appeared early and often on their way to scoring a combined 63 points in their Seahawk debuts.  Overall, 10 different Seahawks played 15 or more minutes against the Wildcats.

It was the fourth season opener inside Trask in the last five years. UNCW has now won eight straight season openers on its home floor.

JWU Head Coach Dan Larkin returned to the Port City after serving as a student manager for the men’s basketball program under former UNCW coach Buzz Peterson.

The Seahawks turn their attention to a much-anticipated contest against #9 North Carolina on Friday, Nov. 8, at Trask Coliseum. That game was declared a sellout earlier this year and will be the second of three straight home games to open the season.