Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wolfpack Hold of Spartans

UNCG 64 - NC State 68

UNCG Athletics
NC State Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 35 - NC State 38

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Locke (19)
Leader Rebounds: Cain (8)
Leader Assist: Parker (3)
Team FG: 22-58 (37.9%)
Team 3 Pt: 3-15 (20.0%)
Team FT: 17-28 (60.7%)
Rebounds: 43
Turnovers: 16

NC State Stats
Leader Points: Warren (24)
Leader Rebounds: Warren (9)
Leader Assists: Barber (6)
Team FG: 24-59 (40.7%)
Team 3 Pt: 1-6 (16.7%)
Team FT: 19-33 (57.6%)
Rebounds: 35
Turnovers: 12

To think at 35 years of age, I was that close to storming the court for the first time. I'm partially joking, of course. It wouldn't be my first time. But I digress ...

UNCG came very close to pulling off their second shocker in 48 hours. And quite frankly, they are playing the best ball of any team in the Southern Conference right now. Wes Miller noted in his press conference (I'll link it in a few) That during a tough stretch against 3 ACC programs in a row that the team not only stayed composed, but got better with each game. Against NC State, UNCG was much better than they were against Virginia Tech. Unfortunately , NC State is better than Virginia Tech. So playing better did not equate to a win.

On the tough side, UNCG struggled with turning the ball over. Eleven 2nd half turnovers really helped to put UNCG in a hole that they spent most of the second half fighting through. 3 point shooting has been tough the last few games. I think you can attribute a lot of that to Nicholas Paulos having to spend all of his energy guarding tremendous opposing players. I believe that his shots will start to fall more frequently in conference play. Free throw shooting wasn't particularly good for the Spartans either. NC State was worse, but I'll get to that in a minute.

On the bright side, Paulos and Diante Baldwin did a great job chasing TJ Warren all night. Warren got his average, but he has to work for it and really did very little in the last 10 minutes. I thought it was another night of everyone that got in the game contributing something to help the cause. I thought coach Wes Miller and his coaching staff made a great call at the end too. UNCG did the right thing by going for the quick 2 with 21 seconds left. Sure, they could have held on and took a late clock 3. But with NC State shooting awful at the line, it made sense to take the 2 and foul. It was just unfortunate the shot didn't go down. It was still the correct call in my mind.

Okay, well that was certainly a fun little ACC stretch. UNCG went 1-2, with it's 2 losses by a combined 12 points. Now the games count. Starting Thursday at Western this thing gets serious. To quote Major League, "I guess there's only one thing left to do. Win the whole. Fucking. Thing." Go Spartans !!!