SEVILLA, Spain – The UNCG men’s basketball team closed out its foreign trip to Spain with a perfect 4-0 record as the Spartans rallied from a 17-point deficit in the first quarter to notch a 65-63 win over the Sevilla Select team comprised of local professional players from the area. The Spartans also got to explore Sevilla Saturday in their final day in Spain before heading back to Greensboro Sunday.
Senior guard Justin Jordan (Davidson, N.C./Milwaukee) hit the game-winning shot for the Spartans with 5.2 seconds remaining, nailing a jumper from 15-feet out. Senior Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) gave the Spartans a 3-point lead by hitting a pair of free throws as Sevilla was called for the foul on the go-ahead basket.
Kuiper led the Spartans with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while notching four steals and two assists. Senior guard Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) added a team-high 17 points off the bench as he battled through a tough shooting night to hit a couple of key baskets down the stretch.
The Spartans trailed by as many as 17 points in the first quarter, falling behind by a 26-9 margin. UNCG trailed by seven at 55-48 with 6:18 remaining in the game but out-scored Sevilla 17-8 down the stretch. The Spartans scored 10-straight points to take the lead for the first time with 1:47 remaining as Kuiper and Smith scored in the paint while senior Garrett Collins (Asheville, N.C./Fishburne Military Academy) and junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) each hit big 3-pointers.
The Spartans also got an opportunity to take part in a traditional Flamenco dance in Sevilla. UNCG was entertained by the hour-long show before getting a private lesson for select players and coaches. Both groups, players and coaches, were able to perform the short routine to varying degrees of success.