JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – UNC Greensboro men’s basketball went into one of the most hostile environments in the Southern Conference and did what no other team was able to do this season: knock off ETSU in Freedom Hall. From the start, UNCG jumped out to a lead and didn’t surrender it once in a 75-68 victory.
The victory moves the Spartans to 17-3 on the season and 6-1 in Southern Conference play. The Spartans also now sit alone in second place in the SoCon standings with four straight home games on the horizon. Additionally, the result snapped an eight-game winning streak for ETSU and stopped a 10-game winning streak for the Buccaneers on their home court.
“Certainly pleased with the result tonight,” said Head Coach Wes Miller. “We just have an unbelievable amount of respect for [ETSU Head Coach] Steve [Forbes], this program and this particular team. We think they’re as good as anybody in college basketball. We also respect how difficult of an environment this is to play in. We’ve not had a lot of success coming up here to play, so really pleased with the result. I thought our kids showed a lot of great fight.”
The game began with senior guard Francis Alonso making a three off the opening tip. UNCG’s lead would extend to as much as 10 points in the first half when Alonso made a pair of free throws with 1:55 remaining in the frame.
Freshman forward Angelo Allegri, meanwhile, led UNCG in scoring in the first 20 minutes with nine points as he made his first three three-point attempts on the afternoon. Allegri would eventually finish with a career-high 15 points, all coming from three-point land.
The second half, meanwhile, started with junior forward James Dickey blocking UNCG’s first shot on the afternoon before Alonso hit back-to-back threes. While UNCG’s lead would balloon to 46-30, the Buccaneers cut the Spartans’ lead to just seven when Tray Boyd made three-straight threes.
Despite the lead being reduced to just seven, the Spartans weathered the storm before jumping back out to an 11-point lead with 9:39 remaining when Kyrin Galloway slammed home a basket. Galloway was key in the second half for UNCG, scoring 11 of his 14 points during the frame.
The Spartans spent the next seven minutes with at least a 10-point lead before Boyd once again made a three to cut UNCG’s lead down to nine, 67-58, with 2:16 remaining. The lead would extend back out to 11 points with 1:19 remaining before the game concluded 75-68 in favor of the Spartans.
The Spartans will return to action on Thursday night when UNCG hosts The Citadel in the annual Blackout Game at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
News And Notes
--With the victory, UNCG is now 8-2 in road games this season. Since falling to Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Dec. 1, the Spartans have defeated Elon, Samford, VMI, Western Carolina and ETSU in their home arenas.
--UNCG is also off to its best conference start since a 7-1 start assembled by a 2016-17 team that went on to win the SoCon regular season title.
--UNCG has now won two straight games against ETSU including last year’s victory in the SoCon Tournament championship game.
--The victory was UNCG’s second in the last three years at ETSU’s Freedom Hall.
--For the 18th time in 19 games this year, Alonso reached double figures in scoring as the Malaga, Spain, native scored 15 points. Alonso has also now scored at least 10 points in 92 career games with the Spartans.
--Alonso also started for the 115th time in his career, joining Kayel Locke for the second most total starts in program history. Kyle Hines and Jay Joseph both started 118 games during their respective times at UNCG.
--As mentioned, Allegri scored a career-high 15 points on the afternoon. His previous career-high was 12 points against Greensboro College on Nov. 27.
--Dickey (144) moved into third place in career blocks, recording four against ETSU. Dickey surpassed former teammate RJ White.
--Sophomore guard Isaiah Miller stole six passes, tying a career-high that was set against Chattanooga on Dec. 28.
--UNCG used the same starting lineup for the third straight game.
-- UNCG –