Friday, November 8, 2013

Spartans Start Season Off Right

UNCG 82 - High Point 74

UNCG Athletics
High Point Athletics

UNCG 33 - High Point 32

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Locke, Cain (Tied - 21)
Leader Rebounds: Locke (9)
Leader Assists: Saddler (4)
Team FG: 26-56 (46.4%)
Team 3 Pt: 5-17 (29.4%)
Team FT: 25-40 (62.5%)
Rebounds: 42
Turnovers: 10
High Point Stats
Leader Points: Chaney (21)
Leader Rebounds: Chaney (12)
Leader Assists: McGaughy (2)
Team FG: 27-62 (43.5%)
Team 3 Pt: 1-14 (7.1%)
Team FT: 19-27 (70.4%)
Rebounds: 38
Turnovers: 11

It's really hard to sum up how much fun that was for me to watch. What I saw was a team that loved to share the ball with each other, played hard and played smart (for the most part). They definitely weren't perfect and have plenty of things to work on before Tuesday night. However, they stuck together and got the win.

There are a bunch of things to talk about with this game. I thought that the guys did very well making the most of their opportunities. Saddler and Locke did a great job of controlling the first half and Tyrone Outlaw came up big in the second half. Kyle Cain was as good as advertised and after fighting through 1st half foul trouble, he really showed a nice all around game. Diante Baldwin made some very nice plays in the second half. While Jordy Kuiper and RJ White didn't make a big impact on the stat sheet, they did well battling Brown & Chaney and buying Cain some minutes of rest. All-in-all there was a lot to like this evening.

With the new foul rules, UNCG will have to shoot free throws better. If there was a big black eye of this evening it was definitely the 25-40 that the Spartans went from the charity stripe. If UNCG just makes 5 more to get to 75%, this game is not even in doubt for the last 5 minutes. I think this may be a bit of first game nerves and I expect the percentages improve in the coming games.

Finally, I want to thank High Point for buying a ton of tickets and showing up in force for this game. They helped to make the atmosphere in the stands "chippy", but they added a lot of extra money to the athletics department budget. In all honesty, it was a fun rivalry game and set an opening night attendance record for UNCG (5,734). I did receive a couple of middle fingers and was called a few choice names. I simply stood and gave a nice steady clap for the Spartans as they made their final free throws. It was a lot more fun to not talk shit to the departing fans in purple than to engage them.

After failing to pick up a win against a D1 OOC opponent last season, it feels good to go ahead and get one right off the bat this year. I'm not ready to crown this season as something special yet, but here are definitely things to like going forward. I can't wait to see them play again on Tuesday night.

Go Spartans !!!