WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW Sports)–UNCW shot 60.3 percent and forced 25 turnovers to crush NAIA member St. Andrews, 116-66, and give first-year head coach Takayo Siddle a rousing win in his first home game on Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks raised their record to 3-2 heading into Saturday’s matchup at Southeastern Conference foe Ole Miss. The Knights now stand 1-3.
Sophomore guard Jake Boggs anchored five Seahawks in double digits with a career-high 25 points. Senior guard Ty Gadsden added 22 points, sophomore guard Joe Pridgen collected a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, sophomore forward Imajae Dodd scored 13 and senior guard Mike Okauru finished with 12.
“I’ve always dreamed of being in this position and coaching in this building,” said Siddle. “It’s special to me, fans or no fans. To be able to be the head coach here is special.”
Senior guard Isaac Clay was the lone St. Andrews player in double digits with 18 points. The Knights wound up shooting 46 percent on the night.
“I give a lot of credit to St. Andrews,” Siddle continued. “These games are tough. I kept telling our guys to fight human nature and keep playing hard.”
Boggs closed out the lopsided win with 13 straight points to give the Seahawks their largest margin of victory of the early season. The scoring shower included a dunk and three straight three-pointers to conclude a career night for the Charlotte, N.C. native.
UNCW barreled its way to an early 23-9 lead at the 12:56 mark in the first half, courtesy of an early 15-4 run capped by a pair of dunks by Dodd.
A 6-0 spurt by the Knights made it a 29-19 game with 10:11 to go before halftime. The Seahawks then exploded with a barrage of slam dunks by Boggs and Dodd, while Gadsden led a trio of Seahawk snippers with connections beyond the arc and UNCW bolted out to a commanding 62-32 lead at the break.
The Seahawks charged out of the half with an 11-3 surge that extended the lead to 75-35 with 16:12 to go in the game. From there, the teams traded baskets briefly before the Seahawks pushed the lead to 95-50 on a Pridgen three-pointer with 8:01 remaining.
St. Andrews cut the lead to 101-62 with 3:36 before Boggs slayed the Knights with 10 uninterrupted points and capped the victory with a three-pointer with 45 seconds to go.
The Seahawks will be back on road on Saturday when they travel to take on SEC foe Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi.