HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) -- T.J. Carter scored 23 points, Todd Hendley added 18, and North Carolina-Wilmington overwhelmed Coppin State 78-57 Saturday in the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
The Seahawks (3-2) are showing some life after going 7-22 last season, coach Benny Moss' first. They responded to losses at Illinois State and Indiana with two dominant performances this weekend.They shot 64.3 percent overall and hit 7 of 11 3-pointers in Friday's 80-65 win over Longwood while strangling their opponent on defense. And they did the same in the first half against Coppin State, before tapering off in the second.Carter shot 9-for-13 and hit 3 of 6 3-pointers to go with five assists, and Hendley was 8-of-12.UNC-Wilmington hit 30 of 62 shots overall, but the Seahawks were 19-of-30, including 6-of-13 3-pointers, in the first half and led 48-23 at the break.There were open looks thanks to quick passes and a stifling defense.It added up to a rough afternoon for Coppin State (3-3), which shot 37.7 percent. Tywain McKee delivered 18 points after scoring 33 and hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer the previous day in a double-overtime win over Southeast Missouri State. But he was the only Eagle in double figures.There were no dramatics for a team that rallied from 14 down in the second half and an eight-point deficit in the first overtime on Friday.Coppin State scored the game's first two baskets, but things quickly unraveled. UNC-Wilmington answered with nine straight points, Carter's 3-pointer capping the run, and never looked back.Vladimir Kuljanin punctuated the half with a dunk over Robert Pressey, who stayed down while clutching his right knee before walking gingerly off the court.