UNCW men’s basketball team falls to No. 22 Charleston in front of sold-out crowd

UNCW men’s basketball team falls to No. 22 Charleston in front of sold-out crowd
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 11:37 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The UNCW men’s basketball team lost to No. 22 Charleston Wednesday, 71-69, at Trask Coliseum.

Charleston came into the game boasting the nation’s longest winning streak at 15 games, while UNCW’s streak stood at 13 straight victories.

The Cougars lead by 11 points at halftime, but the Seahawks mounted a comeback throughout the second half.

The Seahawks led by two points, 69-67, with 2:15 remaining in the game, but would fail to score again. Charleston capitalized on free throws and squeaked out a 71-69 victory to win its 16th consecutive game and remain undefeated in CAA play.

UNCW falls to 14-4 (4-1 in CAA play) while Charleston improves to 17-1 (5-0 in CAA play).

Trazarian White and Jamarii Thomas led the way for UNCW with 16 points apiece. Dalton Bolon led the scoring on the Cougars’ side with 16 points of his own.

Despite the losing effort, the hype surrounding this year’s UNCW team has made waves through the campus. The game was the second sellout at Trask Coliseum this season.

Students started lining up four and a half hours before Wednesday’s game, with some saying they have never seen so much excitement for a game before. Senior Caden Lang is the head of a student-fan organization and says he’s looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store.

“It’s awesome,” said Lang. “I mean, for us to go on this win streak is huge, to get national attention and to play a ranked team at Trask, it hasn’t been done since my freshman year and hasn’t really been a meaningful game since the 80s. So, it’s awesome to see history.”

As for the rest of the campus and community, Athletic Director Jimmy Bass says the team’s success has radiated through the school’s other programs. He says the excitement is something he expected when Coach Takayo Siddle was hired to take over the team. Not only has Siddle brought the hype, but his teams have also brought in the money.

“We exceeded our season ticket goal this year for men’s basketball,” said Bass. “We’ve already exceeded our individual game ticket goal, which means we’ve still got homecoming, we’ve still got Towson at the end of the year on senior night. So, we’ve got a chance to finish in the black, something we haven’t done in the past couple of years from a revenue standpoint.”

UNCW will be back at home on Saturday to host William and Mary. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.