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UNCW, Northeastern roll into CAA semifinals

In the second session of CAA hoops on Saturday, UNC Wilmington downed the College of Charleston and Northeastern squeaked past Delaware, setting the CAA's final four.

Colonial Athletic Association

After William & Mary and Hofstra won earlier in the day, there was still two spots up for grab in the CAA semifinals.

Putting to rest any chance of a cinderella, No. 2 UNC Wilmington beat No. 10 Charleston in blowout fashion, 79-53.

Charleston was coming off a surprising victory over Drexel the night before, and their upstart energy was evident early. The Cougars had a pep in their step early, forcing UNCW turnovers with the press and getting to the basket on the offensive end. Sophomore guard Joe Chealey scored 11 of his 12 points in the first half for Charleston, helping to keep the Cougars competitive.

The good vibes would not last for Charleston, however, as UNCW look control of the game midway through the first half. The Seahawks led by 11 at halftime and after Charleston closed the gap to nine early in the second period, UNCW went on a 14-0 run to put Charleston away.

UNCW scored 16 points off 12 Charleston turnovers and shot a blistering 65 percent from the field in the second half. Cedrick Williams and Freddie Jackson scored 19 a piece for the Seahawks.

In the final quarterfinal matchup of the day, Northeastern avoided the upset by beating Delaware, 67-64.

Delaware started the game sloppy, turning the ball over seven times in the first four minutes, as Northeastern jumped out to a seven point lead.

The Blue Hens stormed back to take a three point lead with five minutes left in the first half, but Northeastern led by four at halftime.

The Huskies seemed to wrangle control of the game when they jumped up by eight with under 10 minutes to play, but Delaware showed some fight by battling back to within a point with just under three minutes remaining.

Down by three with under a minute, Delaware freshman Kory Holden drove the lane and converted a short shot to draw within a point with 30 seconds on the clock, but the Blue Hens were unable to complete the comeback.

Northeastern's leading scorer in the game, David Walker, hit the closing free throws to cap his 17-point night and clinch the victory for the Huskies.

The semifinals are set for Sunday afternoon as William & Mary and Hofstra tip off at 2:30 p.m., followed by UNCW and Northeastern at 5 p.m.