Friday, January 24, 2014

Spartans Start Western SoCon Swing With a Thud

UNCG 78 - Samford 88

UNCG Athletics
Samford Atheltics

Halftime: UNCG 33 - Samford 43

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Cain (23)
Leader Rebound: Cain (11)
Leader Assists: Saddler (6)
Team FG: 26-61 (42.6%)
Team 3 Pt: 4-16 (25.0%)
Team FT: 22-32 (68.8%)
Rebounds: 34
Turnovers: 10

Samford Stats
Leader Points: T. Willimas (29)
Leader Rebounds: T. Willimas (12)
Leader Assists: Miller, Kelly, I. Williams (Tied - 5)
Team FG: 30-51 (58.1%)
Team 3 Pt: 6-10 (60.0%)
Team FT: 22-34 (64.7%)
Rebounds: 36
Turnovers: 12

That was one of the more frustrating games I've watched the Spartans play lately. There are times this team just can't get out of its own way. This was one of those games. UNCG didn't really turn the ball over often, but every time it did, it seemed like Samford ended with a dunk or layup on the other end. The Bulldogs scored 17 points off just 10 UNCG turnovers (UNCG scored 4 off 12 TO's by Samford). Also, it was the second straight game that UNCG players spent more times jawing at the officials than focusing on the next play.

Once again, UNCG post players could not stay out of foul trouble. Kayel Locke was in the process of having a monster game, when fouls took him right out of the contest. It allowed Tim Williams to go wild in the post. Honestly, it was just a bad all around performance by a team that had made bigger strides forward on defense. The Bulldogs got almost any shot they wanted and made most of them. The painful trend that also continued, though, was that Samford out rebounded the Spartans. Rebounding has been a staple of UNCG's all season long. In the past 2 contests UNCG has been out rebounded by 2 teams that are not very good at rebounding the ball.

I'm trying to avoid drawing any major conclusions from this one game alone. The truth is UNCG has a tough last 10 games of it's schedule. To finish in the top 5 (and get a bye) in the SoCon tournament is probably going to take a 10-6 record. From this point forward, the Spartans would need to go 7-3 to get to that mark. While not impossible, that just doesn't seem likely unless this team starts to play much better basketball. Saturday night UNCG moves up the road to Chattanooga. The Mocs are on a 9 game winning streak and are 7-0 in the SoCon. They just destroyed what I have been voting as the best team in the SoCon by 21 points. So, yea ... I'm a little scared as to what could happen in the "Roundhouse". I'll try to stay optimistic for now, though. Go Spartans !!!