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Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Tim Cowie

Men's Basketball Opens Three-Game Home Stretch Tuesday Against UNC Asheville

UNCGSpartans.com 12-18-2017

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team brings its four-game winning streak back home to the Greensboro Coliseum Tuesday night as the Spartans begin a three-game home stretch to close out the 2017 calendar year when they welcome in UNC Asheville. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3 and the ESPN App with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak on the call.

Tuesday’s game marks the fourth-straight game for the Spartans against teams from the state of North Carolina and the sixth game this season against in-state rivals. UNCG is 4-1 this year against teams from North Carolina, including its last three wins over Elon, UNCW and N.C. State.

The Spartans are 6-0 at home this season, including 4-0 at home at the Greensboro Coliseum. UNCG posted home wins over Delaware, Longwood, Elon and UNCW at the Coliseum while picking up wins over North Carolina Wesleyan and Ferrum College on campus at Fleming Gymnasium. In the Spartans’ four games in the Greensboro Coliseum this year against NCAA Division I foes, they are out-scoring opponents by a 74.0-52.00 margin.

UNCG is shooting 44.6 percent (107-of-240) from the field and 37.3 percent (44-of-118) from 3-point land at the Coliseum compared to just 36 percent (73-of-203) from the field and 24.7 percent (18-of-73) from distance for it opponents. Last year, UNCG recorded a 13-4 record at home marking the most home wins in a single season in program history. Since the 2015-16 season, the Spartans are 31-8 at home, good for a 79.5 winning percentage.

UNCG enters Tuesday’s game with an 8-3 overall record and is riding a four-game winning streak. This marks the second time this year that UNCG has won four-straight games. The Spartans own a 6-0 mark at home in Greensboro and a 4-0 record at the Greensboro Coliseum. UNCG is averaging 75.0 points per game while holding opponents to just 60.5 points per game. The Spartans are shooting 44.7 percent (297-of-664) from the field and 36.9 percent (115-of-312) from 3-point land on the year. Opponents are shooting 40.4 percent (221-of-547) form the field and just 29 percent (62-of-214) from distance.

Eight different Spartans are averaging at least 5.0 points per game this season. Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) leads the team and ranks second in the Southern Conference in scoring at 18.1 points per game. Alonso has already scored 199 points this season and ranks 16th in UNCG history with 1,162 points. He leads the team and ranks second in the SoCon with 41 made 3-pointers, connected on 45.6 percent. Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy0 is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game. Smith ranks fourth on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game while sitting second on the team with 23 made 3-pointers.

Sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the team and the SoCon on the glass with 9.0 rebounds per game and 39 total offensive rebounds. Dickey adds 7.9 points per game and is shooting 50 percent (36-of-72) from the field. Freshman guard Isaiah Miller (Covington, Ga./Newton) is third on the team in scoring at 7.7 points per game despite coming off the bench in all 11 games. Junior Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) chips in 7.1 points per game and is second on the team with 34 assists. Senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) ranks third on the team with 16 made 3-pointers, connecting on 39 percent and adds 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

UNC Asheville won the 2017 Big South Conference regular season championship and was picked to repeat as winners this year in the preseason poll. The Bulldogs bring a 6-5 overall record into Tuesday’s game and have dropped three out of their last four games. UNC Asheville is 5-0 at home but just 1-4 on the road with a win at Austin Peay while dropping games to Rhode Island, Vanderbilt, Clemson and Furman. The Bulldogs are 1-2 against Southern Conference teams with a win over Wofford and losses to Furman and Western Carolina.

UNC Asheville is averaging 75.6 points per game while allowing 71.8 points per game against. The Bulldogs are shooting 46.2 percent (299-of-647) from the field and 40.4 percent (86-of-213) from 3-point land. Opponents are shooting 42.9 percent (276-of-643) from the field and 30.8 percent (78-of-253) from distance.

Macio Teague leads three Bulldogs in double figure scoring at 13.8 points per game. Teague leads the team with 38 assists and 20 steals. He also leads the team with 24 made 3-pointers, connecting on 38.1 percent from deep. Kevin Vannatta is second on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game while adding 4.6 rebounds per game. Vannatta has hit 11 3-pointers and has gone to the free throw line a team-high 49 times, converting 81.6 percent. Ahmad Thomas rounds out the Bulldogs in double figures at 12.7 points per game while leading the team with 6.4 rebounds

Tuesday’s game marks the 13th meeting all-time between UNCG and UNC Asheville. The Spartans hold a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series, including three-straight wins and all three wins as non-conference opponents. The Spartans won last year’s meeting by a 75-73 margin in Asheville, marking the first meeting between the two teams since 2001. UNCG and UNC Asheville were members of the Big South Conference from 1993-1997.

Last year, the Spartans posted a late 10-0 run in the second half to come home with a 75-73 victory in Asheville. Dickey scored 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, eight offensive, in 26 minutes off the bench hitting 5-of-5 from the field. Smith added 16 points in 23 minutes due to foul trouble while Alonso scored 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep. Teague led the Bulldogs with 29 points and eight rebounds as he was 6-of-9 from deep. Thomas added 17 points and eight rebounds for UNC Asheville.

-- UNCG --