There have been three games since I have posted so let me catch you up:
1- The New Year’s Eve afternoon game against Mars Hill College was a blow out with the Spartans defeating the Lions 92-48. This game was played in Fleming gym and basketball is a great way to spend a holiday afternoon! Nick Paulos hit a long three at the halftime buzzer to get the crowd to their feet. This game was also where first year player, #1 Marvin Smith, got some significant playing time– 21 minutes. I’m excited to watch him mature into a great ball player.
2- On January 3, Mercer, a newcomer to the SoCon, traveled to Greensboro. They are a tough, team that plays well together, a formidable opponent for anyone. If you will remember, Duke learned that the hard way when the Bears knocked the Blue Devils out of the tournament. In honor of that moment and to congratulate the Bears for their ESPY I did what I do best- glitter up a poster
UNCG fell 55-76 after trailing for 40 minutes only tying the score once. It was hard, but the Spartans had a hard time connecting from beyond the arc (28%) and their free throw percentage was a paltry 45% (5-11).
3- Tonight, at the game by myself, the Spartans took the Bulldogs to overtime before losing by two 83-85. UNCG got off to a strong 5-0 start and the lead was bantered back and forth. There was a lot of sweat left on the court tonight! The Citadel beat us on the free throw line 85% to our 71%. They only put three of our player on the charity stripe (Locke going 10 times), but those points could have made the difference!
And just for fun:
I have been watching a lot of college ball this year, but have fallen lax in writing about it. It has been a tough season. UNCG has been hot and cold and last week all the Tobacco Road teams lost. (I do not like Syracuse, Pitt, and Notre Dame in the ACC. I do not like Syracuse, Pitt, and Notre Dame in the ACC. I do not like Syracuse, Pitt, and Notre Dame in the ACC- If I say it three times will it go away…)
Tonight was a home conference game for the Spartans, going up against the Bulldogs of the Citadel. The game started with the Bulldogs getting in two quick three pointers and a good solid lead, as much as 14 points, that UNCG had to dig its way out of. It was a rough game. The athletes were playing hard, the refs were making questionable calls, and by our bench, Wes Miller was losing his cool.
The crowd erupted, however, when the Spartans tied it at 59 to take us into overtime. There were times when this game looked out of reach, but they kicked it into high gear in the last few minutes of regulation. The Spartans FINALLY took the lead, for the first time, 40 minutes and 15 seconds into the game and held on tight for the last 4:45 to win 69-65. It was a hard fought win and one I think they need to take them into the game versus Davidson on Saturday. Davidson got pretty beat up at the beginning of the season. They are playing up, I think, getting ready to move to the A-10, but the UNCG-Davidson game is always a tense one. There is a lot of history on the line and going in with the W on their heels is nothing but good for the G.
Stats for this game were not stellar for either team. The Bulldogs managed 42% FG, 36% from beyond the arc, and a woeful 50% from the line. UNCG wasn’t much different with 36% FG, 29% three pointers, and 62% from the line. Our bench did contribute 10 points and we got 14 point from turnovers. Tonight our defense and rebounding kept us in the game, but there is room for improvement in shot selection and follow through on plays. This is a good team, the potential is tremendous, just a few more tweaks and they will be there!