Adam Smith had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists Saturday as UNC Wilmington won its first game of the season, 63-54 over Illinois State.
Keith Rendleman added 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Trevor Deloach had 11 points off the bench for the Seahawks (1-5).
Jackie Carmichael had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Illinois State (5-3).
UNC Wilmington, which never trailed, was on top 32-23 at halftime and built that lead to as many as 12 points when Freddie Jackson hit a jumper to make it 54-42 with 6:32 remaining. The Redbirds responded with 10 straight points, including 3-pointers by Tyler Brown and Anthony Cousin, to pull within 54-42 with 1:47 left.
But Deloach snapped the Seahawks' cold streak with a layup, and UNC Wilmington hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute to clinch it.