GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team will hit the road for the first time in Southern Conference play Saturday afternoon as the Spartans travel to Lexington, Va., for a meeting with VMI. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Cameron Hall. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and the ESPN App with Wade Branner and Grafton Young on the call. Additionally, the game will be broadcast on TuneIn with Scott Pryzwansky on the call.
The Spartans enter Saturday’s game with a 10-4 overall record and a 1-0 mark in Southern Conference play. The Spartans have won six out of their last seven games, including back-to-back wins. UNCG opened league play last weekend with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Wofford at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Spartans rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit by out-scoring the Terriers by a 38-20 margin.
UNCG is 2-3 on the road this year, including two-straight road wins with victories over Liberty and N.C. State. The Spartans are averaging 74.4 points per game while holding opponents to a SoCon-best 61.9 points per game. UNCG is shooting 45 percent (372-of-826) from the field and 36.8 percent (144-of-391) from distance. Opponents are shooting 41.6 percent (290-of-697) from the field and 29.6 percent (81-of-274) from deep.
Eight different Spartans are averaging 5.0 points or more this season. Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) leads the team and ranks third in the league in scoring at 18.4 points per game. Alonso leads the team and ranks second in the league with 54 made 3-pointers, connecting on 46.6 percent. He ranks fifth in the country averaging 3.86 made 3-pointers per game. He is second on the team with 42 assists. Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) is second on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game while adding 4.6 rebounds per game. Smith has hit 27 3-pointers this year at a 33.3 percent clip.
Redshirt sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the team and the SoCon on the glass grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game. Dickey adds 8.3 points per game and is shooting 52.4 percent (44-of-84) from the field. Freshman Isaiah Miller (Covington, Ga./Newton) chips in 7.4 points per game off the bench, hitting 44-of-79 (55.7%) on 2-point shots this year. Junior guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the team with 50 assists while adding 6.5 points per game. Troy has hit 18 3-pointers this season. Senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) has connected on 17 3-pointers while averaging 6.3 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Saturday’s game marks the 22nd meeting all-time between UNCG and VMI. The Spartans are 13-8 all-time against the Keydets, including a 5-1 record against them since VMI returned to the Southern Conference in 2014-15. Last year, UNCG swept the season series against the Keydets posting a 74-67 victory at home and a 91-82 win in Lexington. The Spartans averaged 82.5 points per game against the Keydets, shooting 51.3 percent (58-of-113) from the field and 40 percent (16-of-40) from 3-point land. The Keydets shot 42.1 percent (53-of-126) from the field and 35.6 percent (21-of-59) from distance in the two games against the Spartans.
Alonso led the Spartans against VMI with 15.5 points per game, shooting 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from 3-point land. Former Spartans R.J. White and Diante Baldwin added 14.5 and 13.0 points per game, respectively. Troy averaged 10.0. points and 5.5 assists per game while Dickey averaged 9.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. VMI’s top three scorers against UNCG from last year are no longer on the team due to graduation. QJ Peterson led the way at 26.5 points per game, hitting 10-of-22 from deep. Trey Chapman averaged 16.0 points per game while Julian Eleby averaged 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
VMI enters Saturday’s game with a 5-8 overall record and an 0-2 mark in Southern Conference play. The Keydets have dropped three-straight games, including conference losses to Furman (57-87) and Wofford (53-92). VMI is 4-2 at home this year with wins over Presbyterian, Ohio Valley, Longwood and Southern Wesleyan. The Keydets are averaging 67.2 points per game while allowing 73.3 points per game against. VMI is shooting 42 percent (304-of-723) from the field and 33.7 percent (97-of-288) from 3-point land. Opponents are shooting 45.7 percent (339-of-742) from the field and 35.3 percent (97-of-275) from distance.
Bubba Parham leads the Keydets in scoring at 12.7 points per game. Parham has hit 24-of-69 (34.8%) from 3-point land while shooting 86.7 percent (39-of-45) from the free throw line. Austin Vereen is second on the team in scoring at 9.9 points per game. Vereen leads the team with 26 made 3-pointers, connecting on 49.1 percent. Tyner Creammer leads the team on the glass with 6.2 rebounds per game while adding 8.8 points per game. Creammer is shooting 50 percent (46-of-92) from the field ... Keith Smith leads the team with 57 assists while adding 7.9 points per game.
-- UNCG --