NEWARK, DEL. – For only the fifth time in program history, UNC Greensboro’s men’s basketball team has started a season 5-1, as the Spartans on Friday night defeated Delaware by a final of 84-65 at the Bob Carpenter Center.
“We got in some foul trouble there early, [but] I liked our aggressiveness and maybe our aggressiveness had something to do with our foul trouble,” said Head Coach Wes Miller. “We had a lot of our main guys in foul trouble and we had a lot of young guys out there. …But I like the way we responded after halftime. We came out aggressive [and] hungry in the second half and we had a little adversity with James getting his fourth foul really quickly. I thought that was going to affect us more than it did, and that’s a good sign for our team.”
UNCG took its first lead 2:32 into the contest as sophomore guard Isaiah Miller made a floater in the lane. It was the first time Delaware had trailed in its last four games. The Spartans would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the contest.
After an early low-scoring battle at 6-4 more than five minutes into the game, UNCG would go on a 14-4 run to get its lead to 22-10 when junior guard Malik Massey made a three off a fast break for the Spartans. The lead would eventually grow to 13 points at 25-12 when senior guard Francis Alonso made his first three on the evening with 6:55 remaining in the first half.
But the lead would be cut to just one before halftime, as Delaware was propelled by an 11-0 run before the Spartans struggled from the field to close out the first half, making just one of their final seven shots.
UNCG was also slowed by foul troubles in the frontcourt, as junior forwards James Dickey and Eric Hamilton were both called for three fouls while fellow junior forward Kyrin Galloway – who led UNCG in scoring in the first half with nine points – was charged with two fouls. Additionally, freshman forward Angelo Allegri also was called for two fouls.
In the second half, the Spartans opened up scoring with Alonso making a three before Dickey made two free throws to push the lead to 41-35. While Delaware continued to fight, the Spartans didn’t allow the Blue Hens to get closer than a three-point deficit before blowing the game open.
The Spartans would build on their lead off a 19-3 run to push the score to 72-52. During that run, Hamilton had eight points while sophomore guard Kaleb Hunter had seven points. The Spartans’ lead continued to hover around 20 points for most of the final seven minutes of action, as UNCG was led by a balanced offensive attack and a defense that limited the Blue Hens to 9-of-22 shooting in the second half.
The Spartans will be back at the Bob Carpenter Center tomorrow afternoon when they take on Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs enter the game with a 4-1 record with their lone loss coming at the hands of LSU, like UNCG.
Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.
News And Notes
--With the victory, UNCG has tied its best start in program history through six games. Like this season, the Spartans previously started 5-1 during the 1986-87, 1994-95, 1999-00 and 2001-02 seasons.
--If the Spartans are able to defeat Louisiana Tech tomorrow, it will mark the first 6-1 start in program history.
--UNCG now leads the all-time series against Delaware, 4-3, as the Spartans have defeated the Blue Hens back-to-back seasons.
--Senior guard Demetrius Troy moved into seventh place in career assists in program history, surpassing Ronnie Taylor. Troy now trails William Powell by 81 assists for sixth place. Courtney Eldridge leads the program in career assists (584) followed by Scott Hartzell (552), former teammate Diante Baldwin (437), Dwayne Johnson (427), Derrick Nix (421) and Powell (414) for the most assists in program history.
--Alonso has now scored at least 10 points in seven straight games dating back to UNCG’s NCAA Tournament game against Gonzaga in March. It is the longest 10-point streak since the Malaga, Spain, native did it eight straight games from Dec. 13, 2017-Jan. 13, 2018. It is the fifth time in his career he’s scored at least 10 points in seven straight games.
--Hamilton reached double-digit totals in scoring for the second straight game as he scored all 10 of his points in the second half. It’s the first time in his career he’s scored at least 10 points in back-to-back games.
-- UNCG –