Dickey Helps Menís Basketball Grab Big Road Win At UNC Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team tallied a big non-conference road win Monday night as the Spartans gutted out a hard fought 75-73 victory over defending Big South Conference Tournament champion UNC Asheville at Kimmel Arena. The Spartans used a late 10-0 run to take the lead for good and held off the Bulldogs in the closing minute to pull out the victory.
The victory improves the Spartans to 9-3 on the season, their second-best start in program history at the NCAA Division I level. The victory also gives UNCG its eighth win in the last nine games. The Spartans close out the non-conference schedule Thursday night when they travel to the nation’s capital to play Big East Conference foe Georgetown on FS1. The loss snapped the Bulldogs’ five-game winning streak and gave them their first home loss of the year as UNC Asheville fell to 8-4 on the year.
Redshirt freshman forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) led four Spartans in double figures posting his first career double-double. Dickey scored 12 points off the bench and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, including eight of the offensive end as his play helped UNCG out-rebound the Bulldogs by a 39-34 margin. He connected on 5-of-5 from the field and was 2-of-2 from the free throw line in 26 minutes off the bench.
Junior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) scored a team-high 16 points while playing just 23 minutes due to foul trouble. Smith connected on 6-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-5 from deep, while grabbing four rebounds. Sophomore guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) scored 15 points as he was 5-of-8 from 3-point land. Senior center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
The Spartans connected on 50 percent (30-of-60) from the field and hit 50 percent (10-of-20) from 3-point land in the victory. UNCG dished out 20 assists on its 30 made field goals while out-scoring the Bulldogs 38-32 in the paint. UNC Asheville finished the night shooting 43.5 percent (27-of-62) from the field and 40 percent (10-of-25) from 3-point land in the loss. Macio Teague led all payers with 29 points and eight rebounds, as he was 10-of-16 from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point land. Ahmad Thomas added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs who fell to 4-1 at home at Kimmel Arena.
The teams came out of the gate trading baskets and UNC Asheville taking an early 21-18 as Teague hit his first five from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers for 12 early points. The Spartans started to settle in and posted a 9-3 run to take a 27-24 lead. Alonso hit on a pair of 3-pointers during the run while junior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
The Spartans extended their lead to 37-32 at the 5:03 as Alonso hit another 3-pointer. The Bulldogs responded with an 11-2 run to take a 43-39 lead as they turned up the pressure on the Spartans and converted those miscues into points. UNCG answered right back and closed the first half on a 9-1 run to take a 48-44 lead into the locker room. Alonso hit his fourth 3-poiinter in the run while Dickey scored on two dunks. White capped the half by scoring with 1.6 seconds remaining to take the four-point lead into break.
UNCG connected on 63.3 percent (19-of-30) from the field and hit 8-of-10 (80%) from 3-point land in the first half. The Spartans also committed 10 turnovers in the first half, which led to nine points for the Bulldogs. Alonso led the way with 12 points while Smith chipped in 11 points in 12 minutes as he battled four trouble.
The second half saw each team trade runs back and forth as Smith hit an early 3-pointer to put UNCG in front 51-44. The Bulldogs responded with eight straight points to take a 52-51 lead as Teague scored five in a row and Zilli Giacomo converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Alonso hit a 3-pointer to put UNCG in front 61-59 with 11:33 remaining but UNC Asheville scored the next five points to take a 64-61 lead on a 3-point play by Thomas with 8:35 remaining. The Spartans answered right back, scoring the game’s next 10 points to take a 71-64 lead with 2:39 remaining. White started the run hitting a long jumper before Dickey went to work on the offensive glass, grabbing four offensive rebounds in a three-minute stretch. He converted two of his offensive put backs, including one as the shot clock was expiring for the 69-64 lead.
Senior guard Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) came up with a big basket with 2:39 remaining as he got into the lane and dropped in a layup to put the Spartans up seven at 71-64. UNC Asheville would not go away as Teague hit two more 3-pointers surrounding a White dunk to make it a 73-70 game with 1:23 remaining. Dickey was fouled on an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession and hit both of his free throws with 53 seconds to put the Spartans up 75-70.
Thomas hit a 3-pointer for the Bulldogs on the ensuing possession and Alonso missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity giving the ball back to UNC Asheville with 7.9 seconds remaining. Baldwin was able to force Teague off the 3-point line and his pull-up jumper over Dickey’s out-stretched arms was off the mark. Smith soared over the UNC Asheville players and grabbed the pivotal defensive rebound to secure the victory as time expired.-- UNCG --