UNC-Wilmington (5-8) at Northeastern (6-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthews Arena (6,000) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: UNCW 5-1, Northeastern 1-5. Away Record: UNCW 0-7, Northeastern 3-1. Neutral Record: UNCW 0-0, Northeastern 2-1. Conference Record: UNCW 0-1, Northeastern 1-0. Series Record: Northeastern leads, 6-4.
GAME NOTES: The Northeastern Huskies and UNC-Wilmington Seahawks will resume their respective Colonial Athletic Association schedules against one another on Saturday at Matthews Arena.
UNCW has stumbled of late, dropping two straight and four of its last five games overall. The Seahawks were dealt a 79-74 home loss by Towson on Wednesday night in their CAA opener. Now they are back on the road, where the team remains winless in seven tries this season.
Northeastern has somehow managed to go just 1-5 at home while boasting a 5-2 record elsewhere. The Huskies have rebounded from a five-game skid by winning two of their last three outings, all of which came on the road. They opened their conference slate with an 84-74 victory at George Mason on Thursday night.
NU leads the all-time series with UNCW, 6-4.
Forward Keith Rendleman notched his sixth double-double of the season and 28th of his career in the loss to Towson. The senior tallied 14 points to go along with a school record-tying 21 rebounds. Redshirt freshman Craig Ponder led all scorers with 23 points and Tyree Graham scored a career-high 18 points, but the Seahawks were unable to overcome 46-30 scoring advantage inside the paint. Still, after trailing by as many as 19 early in the second half, the Seahawks showed some fight by rallying to make it a three-point game with 20 seconds left before Towson sealed it. Rendleman has been something of a one-man show for UNCW this season, as he is the only player on the team averaging double figures (16.0 ppg) while also pulling down 10.5 rebounds per tilt. As a team, the Seahawks are shooting just 41 percent from the floor and are -7.7 in scoring margin.
NU boasts a more balanced attack that features four double-digit scorers. Senior co-captain Jonathan Lee has provided a real spark in the four games he's played since returning to the court from a preseason foot injury, averaging a team-best 16.3 points to go along with 5.5 rebounds per tilt. Fellow captain Joel Smith is next in line with 16.0 ppg, while Quincy Ford (13.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Reggie Spencer (11.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) have also made steady contributions. After trailing George Mason 37-30 at halftime on the road earlier this week, NU put up 54 points and shot a scorching 64.3 percent from the floor after halftime to earn the win. The Huskies also knocked down 6-of-9 3-pointers over the final 20 minutes. Lee led the way with 20 points, followed by Ford with 18 and Zach Stahl with 15 off the bench.
The Huskies' struggles at home this season are a bit perplexing, although the absence of Lee for the first nine games certainly played a role. With their leading scorer back in the lineup, look for the Huskies to claim a victory here as they look to build some momentum entering the heart of their league schedule.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 76, UNC-Wilmington 68
01/05 10:35:26 ET