Thursday, January 16, 2014

Spartans Pull Out Tough Win in Overtime

UNCG 69 - Citadel 65 OT

UNCG Athletics
Citadel Athletics

Halftime: UNCG 20 - Citadel 31

UNCG Stats
Leader points: Locke (21)
Leader Rebounds: Cain (16)
Leader Assists: Parker, Potts (Tied - 2)
Team FG: 24-66 (36.4%)
Team 3 Pt: 5-17 (29.4%)
Team FT: 16-26 (61.5%)
Rebounds: 45
Turnovers: 11

Citadel Stats
Leader Points: Moore (21)
Leader Rebounds: Van Scyoc (11)
Leader Assists: Moore (5)
Team FG: 23-41 (41.8%)
Team 3 Pt: 10-28 (35.7%)
Team FT: 9-18 (50.0%)
Rebounds: 34
Turnovers: 15

Here is a perfect example of a game that UNCG would have absolutely lost last year. The team would have went in at half down by 11, and when the lead ballooned to 14 it would have full on panic mode. The rest of the half, the home fans would have watched their Spartans jack up bad shots looking for the mythical 10 point play.

Instead, UNCG steadily fought its way back into this game. Now the Bulldogs helped them out by playing poor on the offensive end and giving the ball away at bad times. But UNCG never led in this game until Nicholas Paulos's 3 pointer in overtime. Once they took the lead, you could just see it in their eyes. They weren't giving this game back.

Kyle Cain and Kayel Locke were just unstoppable for long stretches tonight. The rest of the team contributed enough to help push G to the tough victory. Other than the huge rebound discrepancy, the stats aren't easy on the eyes. The one other category that is fun to look at, though, is the turnovers. UNCG improved to 5-1 when it turns the ball over 13 or less times.

In order for UNCG to get a bye for the SoCon Tournament, they are going to have to find a way to win games when they are not playing very well. This was one of those nights. When I look back on this game in a few weeks, it will simply be a win. I'll remember very little about how it became a win. That works for me.

Now Saturday has the chance to be a lot of fun. Davidson comes to Greensboro for the last time. The Spartans have a chance to measure themselves against another of the best teams in the SoCon. The last time this happened against Western Carolina, UNCG wasn't ready for "prime time". Maybe they will be this time. Go Spartans !!!