Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bookend Wins

UNCG 74 - Elon 66

News & Record
UNCG Athletics
Elon Athletics

On November 17th, UNCG defeated Webber International (90-78) to open the home schedule with a win. Yesterday, UNCG defeated Elon to end the home schedule with a win. In between there have been 10 painful losses. However, none of that mattered yesterday in what was (in my opinion) the best atmosphere in Fleming Gym this season. The Chancellor stood in the front row, the cheerleaders threw t-shirts into the crowd after every basket and it felt like last year all over again. It was nice to forget that the Spartans had only won 4 games and just cheer.

From the News & Record:
The 1,007 fans made it a good atmosphere for the game. One of the more
enthusiastic was UNCG chancellor Linda Brady, who spent a chunk of the second
half standing in the front row of the student section, wearing a blue and gold
"Blue Crew" T-shirt under her suit jacket.

"I saw her over there jumping
up and down in a Spartan shirt," said point guard Montel Smith. "It's real
exciting. She's that type of woman. When we had that big game against Davidson
in the Coliseum, she was in the stands with the students."

Let me just say that even thought this team only won 5 games in the regular season, I still feel good about the direction of this program. Chancellor Brady is the main reason. I feel that her enthusiasm towards athletics and the university in general is great and infectious to everyone around her. Obviously, there's a long way to go for the program. All of us fans are just going to have to show patience and enjoy the ride.

As for the game ...
- I've been really hard on UNCG point guards this season. They were very solid against Elon, though. Sean Spooner's stat line - 6 points (3-3 from the field) 3 assists, 0 turnovers. Montel Smith's stat line - 8 points (6-6 from the free throw line), 3 assists, 2 turnovers.
- Pete Brown scored a career high 10 points. The defense he played on Constantine was the thing that caught my eye. Constantine had a very easy time pushing some of the younger big men around. Brown fought him hard on every possession when he was in the game. That's the kind of play that I hope Pete becomes known for next season.
- 17 assists to only 10 turnovers.
- UNCG out rebounded Elon 24-20.
- 55.3% (26-47) from the field.

UNCG now awaits the outcome of Monday night's Citadel game (@ Georgia Southern) to determine who the opening round opponent is in Chattanooga. If the Citadel wins, the Spartans will play College of Charleston. If the Bulldogs fall, they will be match up with UNCG.

For now, let's hope the Spartans take away some confidence from this game and carry it with them to the tournament.