JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – UNC Greensboro men’s basketball will face one of its toughest tests on the season Saturday afternoon when the Spartans take on ETSU in Freedom Hall.
Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the game will be streamed on ESPN3.
Five Facts To Know
--Saturday’s game will pit two of just 11 teams in the nation with at least 16 wins already this season. The 32 combined victories between the Spartans and the Buccaneers will be the most in a matchup during the day’s slate of action.
--The Spartans once again played a game that was decided by single digits on Thursday night as UNCG knocked off Western Carolina 69-60. UNCG is 7-1 in games decided by nine points or less.
--Junior forward James Dickey (140) needs just three more blocks to surpass former teammate RJ White (142) for the third-most blocked shots in program history.
--UNCG will try to extend its road record to 8-2 on the season against ETSU. The Spartans have won their four games away from home court while the Buccaneers have won all 10 of their appearances in Freedom Hall this year.
--ETSU is the best team in the nation in rebounding margin (+14.4) and total rebounds (859). Per the league office, only one SoCon team has posted a double-digit rebounding margin for a given season since 1984-85, which was the Chattanooga Mocs (+10.8) during the 2004-05 season.
The Spartans This Season
UNCG (5-1) enters Saturday afternoon’s game trailing only Wofford (6-0) and ETSU (6-1) in the SoCon standings with the midway point of conference play coming next weekend.
After setting a new program record for non-conference victories (11) following a victory over the reigning Big South champion Radford Highlanders on Dec. 18, the Spartans have won five of their first six SoCon games, three of which have come on the road: Samford, VMI and Western Carolina.
The Spartans are led offensively by senior guard Francis Alonso and his 17.8 points per game this season, which is the third highest points per game average in the SoCon. Sophomore guard Isaiah Miller, meanwhile, is second on the team in points per game (14.6) and has reached the 20-point mark in three of the team’s six conference games this year.
Dickey paces the team in rebounds per game (7.5) and total blocked shots (26) in 13 games this season.
This will be the 29th meeting between the two schools dating back to their first time sharing a court on Dec. 22, 1983, with UNCG trailing in the all-time series, 12-16.
The two teams have met in the SoCon Tournament final each of the last two years, splitting decisions. The Spartans last year, of course, knocked off ETSU 62-47 to punch their first ticket to the NCAA Tournament in 17 years.
Upcoming For The Spartans
The Spartans will return home for four straight games at the Greensboro Coliseum, beginning with a matchup against The Citadel this Thursday at 7 p.m.
-- UNCG –