GREENSBORO, N.C. – Another home game, another victory for UNC Greensboro men’s basketball (4-1), as the Spartans were able to prevail in a close matchup against Prairie View A&M. Despite trailing for most of the contest, a late offensive breakout for the Spartans in the second half coupled with lockdown defense pushed UNCG to a 74-66 victory.
The Spartans trailed through the entirety of the first half as Prairie View was hot from downtown, shooting 8-of-12 from behind the arc to keep UNCG at an arm’s reach. While the Spartans would experience small runs throughout the opening frame, they were never able to get closer than three after the Panthers jumped out to an early 10-1 lead.
After getting down by 12, 38-26, the Spartans cut the deficit to just five as they went on a 7-0 run in just 50 seconds off a media timeout. But the Panthers thwarted the run when Gary Blackston made a three.
After going into the halftime break down 41-35, UNCG continued to struggled from the floor as its first points in the second half didn’t come until more than three minutes into the action. Despite the early shooting woes, the Spartans would stay within striking distance before taking over the lead, eventually for good.
Slowly cutting into a nine-point deficit, the Spartans would take their first lead with 5:45 remaining in the contest after redshirt freshman guard Kaleb Hunter was fouled on a three-point shot. While Hunter was unable to make the three, he was able to knock down all three free throw attempts to give UNCG a 61-60 lead. While Prairie View was able to take back the lead less than 26 later off a jumper by Gerard Andrus, it was the Panthers’ last made field goal in the game.
Down the stretch, UNCG ramped up its defensive pressure and Prairie View had no answer, as the Panthers were held without a field goal for the final 5:26 in the contest.
The Spartans will return to the court for two more games that are part of the Delaware Invitational. On Friday night, UNCG will face Delaware for a 7 p.m. tip.
The next day, the Spartans will face Louisiana Tech for a neutral court clash. That game will take place at 5 p.m.
News And Notes
--With the victory, UNCG has tied a program record for consecutive home victories at 12 and the first time since entering the Division I ranks. The other two times the Spartans hit the mark from 1979-81 and 1985-87.
--The Spartans will look to set a new program record for home victories in a row next Tuesday when they face Greensboro College. Tip for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
--Redshirt junior forward Eric Hamilton led the team in scoring in the first half (10 points) en route to a season-high 12 points. The output matched his career high at Wichita State, which he achieved on three different occasions.
--Senior guard Francis Alonso once again reached 18 points, a mark he has hit in all five games so far this season.
--Junior forward James Dickey grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds.
-- UNCG –