MBB Falls Short in 67-55 Loss to UNC Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Junior guard Daniel Fountain poured in a career-high 21 points and UNC Wilmington held Colorado to 18 points in the second half for a 67-55 come-from-behind victory over the Buffaloes in the home opener for the Seahawks Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks improved to 2-3 on the season and snapped a three-game losing streak as they made new skipper Benny Moss a winner in his first home game. The Buffaloes, making their first appearance in Trask Coliseum, dropped to 2-4 in the new season.
Fountain paced three players in double digits for the Seahawks, who shot 44.8 percent to just 37.3 percent for the Buffaloes. With star guard Richard Roby sidelined most of the second half with cramps, Colorado managed just 26.1 percent from the floor after the break.
Senior playmaker Temi Soyebo poured in 12 points ? all in the first half ? on 6-of-8 shooting and added nine rebounds and dished out five assists in an all-around game. He also had eight steals to match the record set by Bob Martin in UNCW's 83-79 loss to Wake Forest when the arena opened on Nov. 26, 1977.
Junior center Vladimir Kuljanin, battling foul problems, also had 11 points on 5-of-6 from the floor for UNCW.
Roby paced the Buffaloes with 16 points, all in the first half. Jeremy Williams was the only other CU player in double figures with 14 markers.
Trailing by five points at halftime, the Seahawks finally caught up with the Buffs with a 7-0 mini-run midway through the second half. A finger roll by CU's Jermyl Jackson-Wilson with 15:48 remaining gave the Buffs a 40-36 lead, but UNCW reeled off seven unanswered points and grabbed a 43-40 edge when Fountain followed up his own shot at 13:09.
After CU sliced the deficit to two points, 49-47, with 6:18 left on a dunk by Jackson-Wilson, the Seahawks went on a 10-2 run. Freshman guard Daryl Felder converted a conventional three-point play on a spin move in the paint to start the rally and a jumper by Dejan Grkovic in the paint at 3:54 pushed the margin to 10 points, 59-49.
UNCW enjoyed its largest lead, 67-53, when freshman forward Montez Downey made a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left on the clock.
The Seahawks, who outrebounded the Buffs by a 37-32 margin, held CU to just six field goals and forced 11 turnvoers in the final period.
Roby torched the Seahawks for 16 points as Colorado built a 37-32 halftime lead. Mired in deep foul trouble, with five players tagged with two or more personals, UNCW hung with the Buffs for much of the opening period until the Big 12 club closed out the first half with a 9-2 run to open up a five-point margin.
After Soyebo scored on a high bank shot with 1:48 left to give the Seahawks a 30-28 edge, Roby drained back-to-back 3-pointers and freshman guard Xavier Silas canned a deep trey from the right corner at the buzzer to give CU its 37-32 advantage.
The Seahawks open defense of their Colonial Athletic Association title on Saturday with a 1 p.m. test at Northeastern. The Buffaloes kick off a seven-game homestand on Saturday with a 7 p.m. tilt against Northern Colorado.