The Spartans posted a 9-4 non-conference record, their best non-conference showing in program history at the NCAA Division I level.
The Spartans posted a 9-4 non-conference record, their best non-conference showing in program history at the NCAA Division I level.
Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Mitchell Layton

Cold Shooting Dooms Menís Basketball At Georgetown 12-22-2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team shot a season-low 30.6 percent from the field as the Spartans suffered a 78-56 loss to Big East Conference member Georgetown Thursday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The loss drops the Spartans to 9-4 UNCG finished the non-league portion of the schedule with the best record in program history at the NCAA Division I level and the second-best start in program history through 13 games. UNCG opens Southern Conference play after the holiday break when the Spartans travel to Charleston, S.C., for a meeting at The Citadel Dec. 28.

The Spartans connected on just 22-of-72 from the field and only hit 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from 3-point land in the loss. Georgetown (8-4) won its sixth straight game by shooting 50.9 percent (27-of-53) from the field and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from 3-point land. The Spartans out-rebounded the Hoyas by a 44-39 margin, including 21 offensive rebounds. UNCG as out-rebounded or tied on the glass with 12 out of 13 opponents this year.

Senior center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) led the Spartans with his first double-double of the season. White score a team-high 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 23 minutes of action as he connected on 6-of-9 from the field. Senior guard Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) was the only other Spartan in double figures Thursday, scoring 10 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. Junior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) added nine points and five assists as the Spartans out-scored Georgetown 34-24 in the paint.

Jessie Govan led Georgetown with 20 points and 10 rebounds as he was 9-of-13 from the field. L.J. Peak added 16 points and six assists as he connected on 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Marcus Derrickson added 15 points off the bench while Rodney Pryor rounded out the double figure scorers with 12 points.

The Spartans came out and went toe-to-toe with the Hoyas, holding an 8-7 lead four minutes into the game as Baldwin scored two early baskets. Georgetown took a 17-12 lead as Pryor hit two early 3-pointers before the Spartans started to stall on offense.

UNCG went 9:21 without a field goal and fell behind 29-14 as the Hoyas posted a 12-2 run. The Spartans started to settle in, scoring eight straight points to narrow the gap to 34-26. White was the catalyst with all eight of his points coming in the last four minutes of the half despite having two fouls, including a monster reverse dunk over a Georgetown defender. The Hoyas got back-to-back 3-pointers from post players in Kaleb Johnson and Govan to take a 40-26 lead into the locker room.

The Spartans connected on just 28.2 percent (11-of-39) from the field in the first half and missed all seven of their 3-point attempts. White led the Spartans with nine points while Baldwin added six points. Georgetown connected on 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from the field and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point land in the opening half. The Hoyas also connected on 9-of-11 from the free throw line in the half. Govan led the Hoyas with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting while Pryor added 10 points.

UNCG opened the second half on a 7-3 spurt to force the Hoyas into an early timeout. White score the first five points of the half, including hitting the Spartans’ first 3-pointer of the night to make it a single-digit deficit. The Spartans were unable to continue the climb bask as again Georgetown got back-to-back 3-pointers from Derrickson and Govan to extend the lead back to 15 at 48-33. The Spartans kept battling and were able to get some stops on the defensive end but could not get enough shots to fall in the second half to mount the complete comeback.

-- UNCG --

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