Senior Diante Baldwin scored a season-high 19 points in the Spartans' loss Friday night. UNCG battles North Dakota State Saturday at 7 p.m. in High Point.
Senior Diante Baldwin scored a season-high 19 points in the Spartans' loss Friday night. UNCG battles North Dakota State Saturday at 7 p.m. in High Point.
Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Carlos Morales

Menís Basketball Drops First Game Of HPU Classic To High Point 11-18-2016

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team dropped the first game of the HPU Classic Friday night as the Spartans suffered a 63-57 loss to Triad rival High Point at the Millis Center. The Spartans continue the three-day, three-game multi-team event Saturday night when they take on North Dakota State at 7 p.m.

UNCG (1-2) shot just 36.1 percent (22-of-61) from the field and hit 35.7 percent (10-fo-28) from 3-point land in the loss. The Spartans committed 15 turnovers on the night, which led to 16 points by the Panthers. High Point connected on 46.9 percent (23-of-49) from the field and hit 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from distance in the victory to improve to 2-1 on the season.

Senior guard Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) led the Spartans with a season-high 19 points while grabbing six rebounds. Baldwin connected on 7-of-15 from the field, including three 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) was the only other Spartan in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

Andre Fox led the Panthers with 20 points, six rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots as he was 7-of-15 from the field. Miles Bowman added 12 points and seven rebounds while Jamal Wright chipped in 11 points and six assists.

The Spartans started slowing at the Millis center, missing their first seven shots of the day to fall behind by a 9-0 score early when Miles Bowman converted a 3-point play for the Panthers. UNCG suffered through foul trouble early on as well as both of its starting forwards picked up two fouls in the first four minutes of the game.

High Point extended its lead to 21-10 as the Spartans were shooting just 14.2 percent (3-of-21) from the field through the first 14-plus minutes of the game. Anthony Lindauer and Andre Fox hit 3-pointers in the early run for the Panthers to take the 11-point lead.

The Spartans started to settle in and closed the half on a 13-5 run to head into the locker room trailing by only three points at 26-23. Sophomore Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) started the run with a 3-pointer while Alonso hit a pair from distance. Baldwin hit a pull-up jumper with 3.0 seconds remaining in the half to make it a one-possession game at the break.

The Spartans finished the first half shooting just 26.7 percent (8-of-30) from the field but hit 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from 3-point land. UNCG also out-rebounded the Panthers by a 22-17 margin, including eight offensive rebounds. Redshirt freshman James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) grabbed seven rebounds in the first half off the bench to lead the way. Senior center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) was limited to one minute in the first half after picking up two fouls early.

High Point connected on 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from the field and hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half. Fox and Bowman led the way with seven points apiece while Jamal Wright chipped in five points and four assists in the opening 20 minutes.

The Spartans pulled within one at 35-34 with 14:57 left in the game as Alonso scored off a drive. High Point answered with nine straight points to take a 44-34 lead courtesy of a pair of 3-pointers. UNCG kept battling and narrowed the gap to 49-42 but HPU answered again with six straight to take a 55-42 lead.

The Spartans had one final push, posting an 11-3 run to narrow the gap to 61-57 with 19 seconds remaining. Baldwin hit a pair of 3-pointers during the stretch and junior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) hit a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game. High Point was able to hold on as Wright hit a pair of free throws to make it a six-point lead with 17 seconds remaining.

-- UNCG --

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