Wednesday, December 11, 2013

UNCG Beats Back Claflin

UNCG 75 - Claflin 70

UNCG Athletics
Claflin Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 38 - Claflin 24

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Locke (25)
Leader Rebounds: Cain (9)
Leader Assists: Potts (5)
Team FG: 27-52 (51.9%)
Team 3 Pt: 4-13 (30.8%)
Team FT: 17-21 (81.0%)
Rebounds: 42
Turnovers: 16

Claflin Stats
Leader Points: Williams (26)
Leader Rebounds: Pellegrino, Curry (Tied - 6)
Leader Assists: Curry (7)
Team FG: 24-65 (36.9%)
Team 3 Pt: 9-21 (42.9%)
Team FT: 13-16 (81.3%)
Rebounds: 28
Turnovers: 5

Well, that was certainly much closer than it really should have been. UNCG had all but put this game away by halftime. The lead was 19 with about a minute to go and all was right with the world. But the second half was just a mess. Not enough energy, or smart plays, or defense. In the end, the Spartans did make some plays down the stretch and did get a couple of crucial stops. They also made some timely free throws and left with a win.

The same old problems keep showing up for G. Not creating turnovers (5) and too many turnovers (16) on their own end. In the first half, the defense forced Claflin to take tough "runners" in the lane over bigger post players. It worked. At halftime, the Panthers were only shooting 20.0%. In the second half, everybody got caught with their hands by their sides and Claflin players happily nailed 3 after 3. Also, the zone defense used by Claflin proved to be very effective against UNCG. The Spartans are young and not always patient. All of these things have got to improve.

On the bright side, Kayel Locke really played strong. He, Kyle Cain and RJ White really did a good job of rebounding the ball and making the close range shots. UNCG is very effective on the offensive end, especially against teams where it matches up better in terms of size. This should be the case on most nights in Southern Conference play. However, for the next few weeks UNCG will find itself of the size deficit against teams from the CAA, AAC and ACC. They will have to play more sound fundamentally to win those games. As for today, it goes down as a win. That works, I guess. Go Spartans !!!