Chiara Jurczak/WRBB Sports

BOSTON — While Northeastern hadn’t had the strongest season to date, with CAA games beginning in early January, it seemed they weren’t too far behind the top squads on January 25, when they took on the UNCW Seahawks at home. 

The Seahawks had a 4-2 record coming into Matthews Arena, only one game ahead of the Huskies in the conference standings but riding a hot, four-game winning streak. Ultimately, UNCW’s firepower was too much for Northeastern, taking a tough 77-54 loss.

From the get-go, the affair was a low-scoring one, with the score resting at 13-10 around seven minutes into the first half. If the Huskies wanted to succeed, they would need to consistently limit the high-powered Seahawks offense while also providing a scoring boost of their own. But Northeastern’s defense just couldn’t hang on, allowing a 12-point run to UNCW over the next six minutes.

The Huskies’ offense was completely stifled in the first half, scoring just 21 points in 20 minutes of play. The real difference-maker between Northeastern and UNCW was their three-point shooting: while the Huskies only attempted five shots from beyond the arc in the first half making just two of them, the Seahawks fired up 16 attempts and sank eight, powered mostly by graduate student guard KJ Jenkins and sophomore guard Nolan Hodge.

Northeastern also struggled with handing too many opportunities to UNCW on a silver platter. The Seahawks scored 13 points off of turnovers in the first half compared to the Huskies’ two. Northeastern did not score a single point off of a fast break and was rendered completely useless offensively, only making eight field goals throughout the half. They entered the halftime break down by a score of 38-21, with a long road ahead of them if they wanted to make it a close one.

While the Huskies did improve on the offensive front in the second half, with sophomore forward Jared Turner taking on a greater role in the offense by sinking three shots from long range, they couldn’t keep up with the Seahawks’ offense . One of Turner’s makes from distance was immediately followed up by a matching one from sophomore guard Noah Ross five minutes into the second half. Just a few minutes later, Rashad King tried to generate some momentum for Northeastern by scoring the first fast break points of the night for the Huskies, but graduate student guard Shykiem Phillips did just that himself no more than 12 seconds later.

Ultimately, Northeastern just could not muster up enough defense in the second half to match their slightly improved offense and got outscored 39-33 in the half. They got completely outplayed by the Seahawks in a game that the Huskies would like to forget, the final score sitting at 77-54. 

Northeastern’s glaring lack of playmaking shone, only tallying nine assists in comparison to UNCW’s 16. They were outscored, outrebounded, and overall outplayed. It was a tough day at the office for Northeastern head coach Bill Coen, who just last Saturday became the winningest coach in CAA history with 184 wins under his belt at Northeastern’s helm.

Coen and his team will need to have short memories, as the Huskies will take on William & Mary Saturday, Jan. 27. In a CAA conference that has been so close in the early goings, every matchup matters, and Northeastern will have to let this one stay in the past if they want to see a positive future ahead of them in the league this season.

WRBB Sports will have full coverage of the Huskies’ Jan. 27 matchup with the W&M Tribe. Tip-off is at 12 p.m., with Justin Diament and Aiden Barker providing live coverage of the game on WRBBSports+.