UNCW falls short in NCAA Tournament against Virginia

ORLANDO, FL (WWAY) — The dream season came to a crashing halt Thursday afternoon for the UNCW men’s basketball team against Virginia at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. For the second year in a row, the Seahawks played a team from the ACC tough, but couldn’t pull out the win.

UNCW got off to a great start thanks to hot shooting from Ambrose Mosley and Devontae Cacok. In fact UNCW held a 15-point lead against Virginia with just over six minutes left in the first half, but the Cavaliers went on a run and UNCW cooled off. Virginia led 30-29 at the half in the East Regional opener at the Amway Center in Orlando.

Seahawk guard C.J. Bryce got things going for UNCW in the second half. In fact the 12th seed Seahawks hit four of their first five shots after the break to regain the lead, but Virginia did a good job holding the Seahawks off the scoreboard after that pushing the lead to 10 points with 7:57. The Seahawks pulled within two points of the Cavaliers, but Virginia won 76-71.

Chris Flemmings led UNCW with 18 points on 7 of 16 shooting from the floor. Denzel Ingram added 17 points. Ingram was 6 of of 15 on field goal attempts. Ambrose Mosley was 5 of 5 from the floor, 14 points. Devontae Cacok added 12 points, 5 of 6 from the floor. Virginia’s bench was a huge factor in the game on Wednesday. UVA outscored UNCW 28-2 in bench points in a game that had eight lead changes.

Virginia’s London Perrantes led all scorers with 24 points, including 19 in the second half, while Marial Shayok came off the bench and scored a career-high 23 for the fifth-seeded Cavaliers.

UNCW shot 41 percent from the field against a very tough UVa defense that had held many of the nation’s top teams this year to fewer than 60 points. Virginia shot 50 percent from the field.

The Cavaliers (23-10) move onto the second round of the tournament on Saturday. They will play the winner of this afternoon’s 3-14 game between Florida and East Tennessee State. It’s the fourth year in a row Virginia has advanced past the first round.

UNCW finishes its season with a record of 29-6 and regular season and tournament championships in the CAA.

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