GREENSBORO, N.C. – Returning to the Greensboro Coliseum for the first time since winning the 2018 Southern Conference Tournament last spring, UNC Greensboro men’s basketball handled business in its home opener by defeating Johnson & Wales 105-57. With the victory, the Spartans are 3-1 on the season.
“I think there’s some really good things, I really like our pieces and I really like our team,” said Head Coach Wes Miller. “I’m enjoying coaching them. But we’re a program that prides itself on who we are defensively and who we are on the backboards. Those are areas that aren’t up to par right now and that showed tonight, particularly in the first half. Those are areas that we’re going to get corrected.”
In the first half, UNCG was able to control the tempo as the Spartans forced the Wildcats into 17 turnovers. While Wildcats forward Robert Hobson was able to drain five threes in the first half, UNCG allowed just 13 points from the rest of Johnson & Wales’ roster. Additionally, UNCG was able to take advantage of early foul troubles out of Johnson & Wales, making 10-of-11 free throw attempts.
During the opening frame, senior guard Francis Alonso scored a team-high 15 points, eight of which came from the free throw line, while junior forward James Dickey pitched in eight points with six rebounds and three blocks.
UNCG was able to continue its strong offensive effort in the second, overpowering Johnson & Wales to the tune of 60 points off 63 percent shooting.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Alonso put himself into the history books with back-to-back three pointers. The second three pushed Alonso ahead of Scott Hartzell for the most threes in program history.
The Spartans got 29 points from the bench in the second half, including 15 from Isaiah Miller. Late in the game, a made layup by Kaleb Hunter also pushed the Spartans to the 100-point mark for just the 16th time in program history.
In total, 12 different UNCG players scored in the game.
The Spartans will return to the court on Monday night, hosting Prairie View A&M at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
News And Notes
--UNCG is 3-1 for the second straight season, as the Spartans rebounded from a season-opening loss to Virginia last year before defeating North Carolina Wesleyan, Ferrum and Delaware. This year, UNCG has defeated North Carolina A&T, UNCW and Johnson & Wales along with a narrow loss to LSU.
--The 48-point margin was one of the largest in program history, as the Spartans have only twice had a margin of victory larger than 50 points.
--Along with becoming the program’s all-time leader in threes, Alonso also moved into third place in career points in program history, surpassing James Maye.
--Miller matched a career-high in scoring with 19 points.
--Dickey also moved into sole possession of fourth place in career blocks with a chase down swat in the first half. Dickey now has 125 career blocks, trailing only RJ White (142), Eric Cuthrell (183) and Kyle Hines (349) for the most by a Spartan in program history.
--Freshman Ryan Tankelewicz made his debut on Friday evening, scoring three points.
-- UNCG –