GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team scored a season-low 15 second half points and lost a double-digit lead Tuesday night as the Spartans fell 67-60 to UNC Asheville at the Greensboro Coliseum. The loss snaps the Spartans’ four-game winning streak and UNCG suffered its first home loss of the year, falling to 6-1 in Greensboro.
The Spartans (8-4) connected on just 21.7 percent (5-of-21) from the field and only 8.3 percent (1-of-12) from 3-point land in the 15-point second half lead that saw them out-scored 34-15. UNCG committed 12 of its 20 turnovers in the second half, which led to 14 points off miscues for UNC Asheville. UNCG finished the game shooting 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the field and 30 percent (9-of-30) from 3-point land.
UNC Asheville (7-5) closed the game on a 12-0 run over the final 5:24 after the Spartans held a 60-55 lead. Macio Teague and Ahmad Thomas scored six points apiece for the Bulldogs in the closing minutes while UNCG missed its last eight shots from the field and committed three turnovers down the stretch. Teague led all players with 25 points and 11 rebounds while Thomas scored 17 points and posted four steals.
Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) led three in double figures with 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) added 12 points on just 4-of-12 shooting while sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) scored 10 points, but only took three field goals in the game.
The Spartans came out of the gate quickly, opening up a 15-4 lead less than four minutes into the game. Smith scored eight points in the opening minutes while Dickey added four points. Junior guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) capped the run with a 3-pointer.
UNC Asheville started to chip away at the deficit and posted an 8-2 run to narrow the UNCG lead to 24-21. Teague scored five points in the run while Kevin Vannatta hit a 3-pointer. The Spartans answered back with an 11-3 run to take a 35-24 lead. Alonso hit a pair of 3-pointers in the run while senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) converted a 3-point play. Troy scored in the closing minutes of the first half to send UNCG into the locker room with a 45-33 lead.
The second half saw UNC Asheville open on a 15-2 run to pull within 50-47 at the 10:41 mark. Teague started to heat up scoring 11 points during the spurt to make it a one-possession game. UNCG went back in front by six at 55-49 when Alonso converted a 3-point play but the Bulldogs kept coming. Dickey gave the Spartans a 60-55 lead with a pair of free throws at the 5:24 mark but those points would be the last UNCG would scored as UNC Asheville closed the game on a 12-0 run.
The Bulldogs finished the night shooting 47.8 percent (22-of-46) from the floor and 21.1 percent (4-of-19) from 3-point land. UNC Asheville went to the free throw line 26 times, compared to just 12 free throws for the Spartans. Additionally, the Bulldogs held a 31-29 advantage on the glass with Teague leading the way with 11 rebounds.
UNCG closes out the non-conference season Thursday night when it hosts Southeastern University at Fleming Gymnasium. Game time is set for 5 p.m.
-- UNCG --