Menís Basketball Stifles Navy 72-59 To Win Second Straight At HPU Classic
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team picked up its second straight win to finish 2-1 at the HPU Classic as the Spartans down Navy 72-59 Sunday afternoon at the Millis Center on High Point’s campus. Sophomore guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) scored a career-high 15 points and dished out six assists off the bench to lead the Spartans to the victory.
The Spartans finished tied with a 2-1 record with host High Point and North Dakota State on the weekend but UNCG had the best scoring differential on the weekend. UNCG returns to action next Friday afternoon as it hosts Belmont Abbey as part of the HPU Classic. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“We figured out a way to win today and I am proud of my team for that,” head coach Wes Miller said. “Three games in three days is going to test you and certainly we were tested. We didn’t play consistently today, but we did some nice things. At the end of the day, we wanted to win more than our opponent and that showed up throughout the game. I am pleased with the victory but we have a lot of growing to do and still have a lot of work to do to get better.”
The Spartans (3-2) finished the day shooting 58.5 percent (31-of-53) from the field and hit 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from distance. Troy finished the night hitting 6-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point land in 25 minutes of play. Senior guard Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) added 13 points, four rebounds and three assists as he was also 6-of-8 from the field. Senior center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) turned in his best game of the weekend, scoring 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Navy (1-4) finished the night shooting 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the field and just 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from distance in the loss. The Midshipmen were out-scored by a 36-26 margin in the pain and UNCG out-rebounded Navy by a 26-23 margin. Shawn Anderson led Navy with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting while Bryce Dulin chipped in 11 points off the bench.
The Spartans came out quickly against the Midshipmen, opening to a 17-6 lead just over eight minutes into the game, forcing Navy into a timeout. Baldwin scored the first two baskets of the game for the Spartans while Troy came off the bench to bury a pair of 3-pointers. Junior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) got into the act as well, scoring five early points.
The Spartans extended the lead to 24-10 as White converted an old-fashioned 3-point play for the largest lead of the half. Navy started to chip away at the deficit as it took advantage of some UNCG foul trouble as four Spartans picked up two fouls in the first half. The Midshipmen posted a 16-6 run to narrow the gap to 30-26 as they connected on 6-of-8 from the free throw line and George Kiernan hit a pair of 3-pointers off the bench.
Baldwin sent the Spartans into the locker room leading 32-26 as he nailed a pull-up jumper as the buzzer to end the first half. The Spartans connected on 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from the field but hit just 25 percent (3-of-12) from distance. UNCG also committed seven first half turnovers and allowed Navy to secure eight offensive rebounds. Troy led the Spartans with eight points off the bench while White added seven and Baldwin six points.
Navy was held to 32.1 percent (9-of-28) shooting from the field and just 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from distance in the first half but went to the free throw line seven more times than the Spartans. Shawn Anderson led the Midshipmen with nine points while Kiernan score six off the bench.
The Spartans came out of the break and posted an 8-2 run to take a 42-30 lead with 13:11 remaining. Sophomore Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) scored his lone points of the game to start the run, hitting a 3-pointer while Baldwin added another 3-pointer and Troy nailed a jumper. The Spartans kept coming and freshman Malik Massey (Charlotte, N.C./New Hampton Prep) scored five straight to give UNCG a 49-32 lead.
Navy was able to trim the deficit to 12 at 57-45 after a Dulin 3-pointer, but the Spartans scored the next seven points to put the game out of reach. The Spartans started to carve up the Navy zone on the inside as redshirt freshman James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) got going. Dickey scored six points in the second half on his way to a career-high eight points and three assists off the bench.
Smith finished the night with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win. Junior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) added seven points and six rebounds while Massey finished with seven points in 14 minutes off the bench.
-- UNCG --