ELON, N.C. –UNC Greensboro men’s basketball got back to its winning ways on Friday night against fellow Triad school Elon, as the Spartans knocked off Elon 75-74 at the Schar Center thanks to some late-game heroics from senior guard Demetrius Troy.
With the victory, UNCG is 8-2 through 10 games and has just three games remaining in non-conference play, all at home. It is only the second time in program history that the Spartans have begun a season at 8-2.
The first half began with UNCG preventing Elon without a made basket on its first seven attempts while senior guard Francis Alonso and junior forward Kyrin Galloway knocked down three pointers to open up the scoring.
The Spartans continued to hit on the offensive end of the court while the Phoenix struggled to knock down shots. That trend remained through most of the first half before Elon hit back-to-back three pointers to pull the Phoenix within three, 33-30, with 2:58 remaining.
UNCG, however, remained ahead throughout the first half before heading into the break up 43-35.
Seven different Spartans scored in the first half, led by Alonso who scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while redshirt freshman guard Kaleb Hunter and redshirt junior forward Eric Hamilton each hauled in four rebounds.
Elon began the second half on a 7-0 run, as the Spartans were held without their first basket more than three minutes into the frame, as sophomore guard Isaiah Miller eventually ended the scoring drought with a put-back layup. The Phoenix took their first lead of the game with a little more than 13 minutes remaining
While Elon’s lead would extend to 55-47, UNCG fought back during a 12-0 run in which the Spartans forced five turnovers thanks to a productive press. Despite going back in front, the Phoenix continued to battle with the Spartans as the lead changed hands nine times in the final 10 minutes.
In the final minute, Elon took a 74-73 lead with 49 seconds left as Tyler Seibring nailed a three. Despite the make, UNCG would take the back its advantage for good when Troy took a pass from Miller and drove the lane before nailing the game-winner.
UNCG will return to home court on Wednesday when the Spartans face Coppin State for the first time in program history. The Spartans are currently riding a program record 13-game winning streak. Through Wednesday night’s action, it is tied for the sixth longest home winning streak along with Murray State and Tennessee.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
News And Notes
--UNCG is 8-2 through 10 games for just the second time in program history. The Spartans also were 8-2 through 10 games during the 1994-95 season, as UNCG went on to finish the year with a 23-6 record and were Big South regular season champions.
--The victory was UNCG’s second straight over Elon, as the Spartans also defeated Elon on Dec. 7 last year.
--With tonight’s win, the Spartans wrapped up their road non-conference action. UNCG is 4-2 in away games this year, as the Spartans have defeated North Carolina A&T, UNCW, Delaware and Elon.
--Additionally, UNCG is now 5-0 against in-state opponents, as the Spartans have defeated Johnson & Wales and Greensboro College along with North Carolina A&T, UNCW and Elon.
--The Spartans are now 3-0 against the Colonial Athletic Association this year.
--Alonso remains in the best shooting stretch of his career, as the Malaga, Spain, native has now scored at least 15 points in all 10 games so far this year. Additionally, he has scored at least 10 points in 11 straight games dating back to UNCG’s NCAA Tournament game against Gonzaga in March. Alonso had 16 points in the first half before finishing with 20 points.
--Alonso led the Spartans in scoring for the 50th time in his career.
--Hamilton also made his first career start. All of Hamilton’s previous appearances, including his time at Wichita State, came off the bench. Hamilton finished the game with nine points and five rebounds.
--The game was UNCG’s first appearance at the Schar Center.
--Hunter tied a career-high for rebounds with five.
-- UNCG –