Monday, January 20, 2014

Sparans Foul Up Upset Bid

UNCG 82 - Davidson 93

UNCG Athletics
Davidson Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 32 - Davidson 40

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Paulos (27)
Leader Rebounds: Paulos (8)
Leader Assists: Saddler (7)
Team FG: 28-68 (41.2%)
Team 3 Pt: 11-22 (50.0%)
Team FT: 15-21 (71.4%)
Rebounds: 31
Turnovers: 14

Davidson Stats
Leader Points: Brooks (24)
Leader Rebounds: Brooks (9)
Leader Assists: Droney (4)
Team FG: 25-52 (48.1%)
Team 3 Pt: 8-16 (50.0%)
Team FT: 35-39 (89.7%)
Rebounds: 34
Turnovers: 18

Here's a fun recipe ... you take a team that's young and has had problems defending. Next add in a team that is great with ball movement and patience. Finally, throw in some Saturday SoCon refs and you've got the perfect recipe for a ton of fouls. That's exactly what happened on Saturday night at the Greensboro Coliseum. The zebras called a combined 51 fouls and sent the teams to the line 60 times. Unfortunately for UNCG, the Spartans tallied 31 of the 51 fouls and Davidson shot an amazing 35-38 form the free throw line. That's the main story of the game. UNCG was unable to guard Wildcat players without fouling.

It overshadowed what wa an amazing night for Nicholas Paulos. Paulos was 9-9 from behind the arc and probably could have flirted with the NCAA record (11-11) for consecutive made 3's if he could have got up a few more shots. Unfortunately, Paulos was only able to keep UNCG within sight of Davidson. The Spartans cut what had been a double digit lead most of the second half, down to 6 with just under a minute remaining. However, it was too little too late.

Southern Conference Player of the Year candidate De'Mon Brooks had a very good night (24 points and 9 rebounds) while UNCG's front court duo of Kyle Cain and Kayel Locke spent very little time on the court together due to foul issues. Several of Locke's foul calls came from charges where he became frustrated and just barrelled down the lane. Davidson's defense quickly realized his strategy and just got in position to take the contact and draw the foul calls. UNCG also hurt themselves with 2 technical fouls. One was for Kylke Cain slapping the backboard after a dunk and one came after Wes Miller had some choice words for the officials.

All-in-all it was just another game where UNCG showed it wasn't quite ready to compete with the very top of the SoCon. The Spartasn right now look to be maybe to 4th or 5th best team in the league. There is clearly a higher tier with Elon, Davidson, Chattanooga and Western Carolina. IN order to keep pace with that group and put themselves into position for a tournament bye, the Spartans will need to continue to win the games agaisnt teams below themselves in the pecking order. That will have to happen on Thurday at Samford. Go Spartans !!!