Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spartans Storm Back for Season Ending Victory

UNCG 73 - Wofford 71

UNCG Athletics
Wofford Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 29 - Wofford 38

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Locke (17)
Leader Rebounds: Cain (8)\
Leader Assists: Potts, Paulos (Tied - 4)
Team FG: 29-47 (61.7%)
Team 3 Pt: 4-6 (66.7%)
Team FT: 11-15 (73.3%)
Rebounds: 30
Turnovers: 10

Wofford Stats
Leader Points: Collins (15)
Leader Rebounds: Skinner (6)
Leader Assists: Cochran (5)
Team FG: 27-55 (49.1%)
Team 3 Pt: 5-15 (33.3%)
Team FT: 12-22 (54.5%)
Rebounds: 23
Turnovers: 4

Despite being down 15-3 right out of the gate, UNCG came back for an important win on Saturday night.The win gave the Spartans the #6 seed for the upcoming SoCon Tournament in Asheville. UNCG will take on #11 seed Citadel at 4:00 on Friday with the winner advancing to face Wofford on Saturday night.

After the poor start, UNCG battled back to only be down by 9 at the half. A second half 12-1 run tied the game at 45 before UNCG went on to lead by as many as 8. However, it took a good defensive stand to cause Karl Cochran to badly miss a midrange shot with about 3 seconds left. Tevon Saddler grabbed the rebound to preserve the win.

Now it's a whole new season. UNCG has at least set themselves up as well as possible for a long stay in Asheville. The Spartans are on the opposite side of the bracket as Davidson, Western Carolina and Elon. At least the teams on bottom half of the bracket are teams that UNCG has defeated at some point this season. Let's hope the Spartans can carry their second half offense with them to the US Cellular Center next weekend. Go Spartans !!!

Friday, February 28, 2014

SoCon Champs Hammer UNCG

UNCG 46 - Davidson 79

UNCG Athletics
Davidson Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 25 - Davidson 44

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: White (16)
Leader Rebounds: White (10)
Leader Assists: Parker (2)
Team FG: 21-63 (33.3%)
Team 3 Pt: 1-12 (8.3%)
Team FT: 3-7 (42.9%)
Rebounds: 40
Turnovers: 15

Davidson Stats
Leader Points: Sullivan (19)
Leader Rebounds: Brooks (9)
Leader Assists: Droney (5)
Team FG: 26-58 (44.8%)
Team 3 Pt: 113-27 (48.1%)
Team FT: 14-21 (66.7%)
Rebounds: 41
Turnovers: 9

Well that certainly sucked. Not much to write about that game. Got to move and grab the #6 seed.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

UNCG (11-13) @ Elon (12-11)

When: Thursday, February 6 7:00 pm
Where: Alumni Gym (1,585)
TV: None/Streaming

Elon Athletics

UNCG Stats
Last Game: Ga Southern (L 62-64) Recap
PPG: 71.0
RPG: 36.8
APG: 12.5
Leader Points: Kyle Cain (15.7)
Leader Rebounds: Kyle Cain (9.1)
Leader Assists: Tevon Saddler (3.1)
FG %: 44.6
3 Pt %: 35.7
FT %: 67.6

Elon Stats
Last Game: @ App State (W 83-76) Recap
PPG: 76.4
RPG: 33.2
APG: 14.5
Leader Points: Lucas Troutman (15.8)
Leader Rebounds: Lucas Troutman (6.1)
Leader Assists: Austin Hamilton (3.2)
FG %: 47.6
3 Pt %: 39.7
FT %: 72.6

Well, the Spartans have certainly backed themselves into a big corner now. They've lost 4 of their last five and haven't won a road game since beating App State in Boone back on January 9th. Now they are dangerously close to falling out of the bye race and their last 7 games all come against teams ahead of them in the standings.

The Spartans have lately been making a bad habit of not really playing well until it was the absolute last possible minute. It worked last Thursday as they eeked out a win over App State at home. But it didn't work out so well on Saturday against the Eagles of Georgia Southern. Now it's time to go in the worst way possible.

For Elon, they've seriously underperformed to preseason expectations (Spartan fans know how that feels from last year). But they are still in position to finish in the top 4 and have a very manageable schedule from here on out. There is a very real possibility that they only lose one game left on their schedule. If that happens, they should find themselves back in postseason play at some level.

So, this is where UNCG has to make its stand. If they can't find a way to start picking up wins, this season could easily get away from a team that was showing a lot of promise just a few weeks ago. Go Spartans !!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Georgia Southern Highlights

Friday, January 31, 2014

App State Highlights

Potts Ignites UNCG to Huge Second Half

UNCG 66 - App State 61

UNCG Athletics
ASU Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 21 - App State 34

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Potts (26)
Leader Rebounds: Cain (15)
Leader Assists: Saddler (8)
Team FG: 24-58 (41.4%)
Team 3 Pt: 9-20 (45.0%)
Team FT: 9-17 (52.9%)
Rebounds: 40
Turnovers: 10

App State Stats
Leader Points: Spagnolo (15)
Leader Rebounds: Spagnolo (17)
Leader Assists: Neal (7)
Team FG: 23-67 (34.3%)
Team 3 Pt: 7-24 (29.2%)
Team FT: 8-12 (66.7%)
Rebounds: 45
Turnovers: 9

A funny thing happen on the way to UNCG losing their fourth game in a row. Jordan Potts happened. In a big way. At the 14 minute mark of the second half, UNCG was down 44-32. Potts made a 3 to pull UNCG within 9. Over then next 6 minutes he made 5 more. His last one gave UNCG it's first lead since it was 2-0 in the first minute of play. After that it was a scramble to the finish that saw the Spartans hold off App State and break its losing streak.

While the second half story was Potts, the first half was all about offense (or the lack of it). The Spartans shot 25.0% and App State wasn't a ton better at 37.5%. Both teams had a ton of good looks. The ball just wouldn't go down. At one point it felt like the first team to score 40 should be declared the winner. The second half turned into a major track meet though. Both teams were gassed by the end.

As much as this story is about Potts and his offensive display, it should be even more about his defense. His on-ball defense really sparked the entire team. UNCG showed very little life in teh first half. By the second, everyone was throwing themselves on the floor to get to every ball. It was fun to see that switch get flipped. Congrats to the team and the coaches for making it happen.

Now on to the back half of this home stand that UNCG needs to sweep. Another win would put some distance between itself and another team vying for the bye spot. So, it's another big game. We'll get to that one in the preview. Go Spartans !!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

App State (6-13) @ UNCG (10-12)

When: Thursday, January 30 7:00 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617)^
TV: Spartan All-Access

^ - Greensboro Coliseum is undergoing renovations and will not be using the upper deck for any seating at UNCG games this season. I do not have the official seat totals with these changes.

App State Athletics

Last Game: 1/9/14 UNCG 66 @ App State 60 Recap

UNCG Stats
Last Game: @ Chattanooga (L 67-77) Recap
PPG: 71.7
RPG: 37.0
APG: 12.9
Leader Points: Kyle Cain (16.0)
Leader Rebounds: Kyle Cain (8.9)
Leader Assists: Tevon Saddler (3.3)
FG %: 44.6
3 Pt %: 35.1
FT %: 68.3

App State Stats
Last Game: @ Citadel (W 80-67) Recap
PPG: 71.5
RPG: 36.7
APG: 11.7
Leader Points: Tab Hamilton* (13.6)
Leader Rebounds: Michael Obacha (8.9)
Leader Assists: Mike Neal (3.2)
FG %: 42.3
3 Pt %: 30.9
FT %: 66.3

* Jay Canty averages 17.6 points in 5 games. Canty is currently recovering from a wrist injury and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

Last week at this time, UNCG was sitting pretty for a Southern Conference Tournament bye. The Spartans were 3-2 and had won the games it was supposed to and only needed to continue that streak in order to get that top 5 spot. Well, this week is a different story. G went 0-2 on the western swing. At the same time, Wofford, App State and Samford are making big pushes up the standings ladder. Tonight's game is very critical. It's a home game against a local team that is right in the hunt with UNCG for that 5th spot. The Mountaineers are only .5 games behind UNCG (in the win column). It's very much a "must win".

Tonight's game features 2 of the best rebounders in the SoCon in Kyle Cain and Michael Obacha. Obacha is gathering 4 offensive rebounds per game. That's huge. UNCG will need to do a good job of limiting the Apps to just one shot attempt per trip. Since the last contest in Boone, Jay Canty has went down with an injured wrist. He will be out an extended period of time. However, after the injury, ASU won 2 games last week. So while it's a big loss for App, they seem to be rallying and playing better.

As for UNCG, the recent 3 game swoon can be attributed to many things. The glaring problem has been foul difficulty. Spartan big men just haven't been able to stay on the court very long. Cain, Locke and White have all had to battle through fouls. Also, the attitudes haven't been very good. It seems like a single marginal call has been enough to cause UNCG to go "in the tank" for long stretches. Th Spartans need to do a better job of playing the next play and not dwelling on the previous one.

The game in January was one that UNCG pretty much controlled throughout. The Spartans turned the ball over 21 times and really helped keep the Mountaineers in the ballgame (which they actually led at halftime). UNCG needs to be solid with the ball and do a good job of playing defense without fouling. Also, it would be nice to see the interior player and guards play in sync. If that happens I think UNCG can get itself back on track. Go Spartans !!!