Men’s Basketball Falls To Georgia Southern On Senior Night
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men's basketball team closed out the home portion of the 2012-13 regular season Wednesday night dropping a 66-60 decision to Southern Conference foe Georgia Southern on Senior Night at the Greensboro Coliseum. The loss drops the Spartans to 6-11 in SoCon play while the Eagles improve to 7-10 on the year.
"I thought the seniors we started gave us a big lift jumping out to the early lead, but you have to give credit to Georgia Southern for weathering that opening run," head coach Wes Miller said. "After the start, I thought we were just out-toughed. They were the tougher team tonight and that is really disappointing. Loose balls and rebounds are the toughness plays that we have struggled with this year. It is not anyone's fault but mine. I have not made our team tough enough and there is nobody that is angrier about that than me."
The Spartans were out-rebounded by a 50-29 margin in the loss, including 21 offensive rebounds by the Eagles. In fact, Georgia Southern posted more offensive rebounds (21) than field goals (17) as the Spartans' defense limited the Eagles to just 29.8 percent (17-of-57) shooting on the night.
Georgia Southern also took advantage of strong free throw shooting, hitting 29-of-34 (85.3%) from the charity stripe in the victory with C.J. Reed leading the way with a 14-of-14 performance form the stripe on his way to a game-high 23 points. Cameron Baskerville posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Marvin Baynham added 10 points and nine rebounds.
UNCG connected on 36.4 percent (20-of-55) from the field but hit just 5-of-22 (22.7%) from distance. The Spartans were also strong from the free throw line hitting 83.3 percent (15-of-18), but attempted 16 fewer free throws than the Eagles. Junior Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) paced the Spartans with 19 points off the bench while senior Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany CC) added 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in the loss.
Prior to the game, the Spartans honored their senior class of Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany CC), Brian Cole (Dacula, Ga./Dacula), Taylor Hoffer (Poulsbo, Wash./North Kitsap), Kelvin McNeil (Newport News, Va./Delaware), Demetrius Robinson (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina) and Korey Van Dussen (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) while student manager Phillip Williams was also honored.
"What hurts the most is we don't send our seniors out the right way with a win," Miller said. "Our seniors that have given so much to our program, especially our four-year guys, that is hurts not sending them out with a win. I am so grateful for everything they have done and meant to our program and to the University as a whole."
The Spartans came out of the gate quickly using the energy from senior night to score the first eight points of the game on their way to an 11-2 start. Armstrong started the game off right as he converted an old-fashioned three-point play for the first points of the game. UNCG extended its lead to nine points when Cole nailed a three-pointer to ignite the crowd.
Georgia Southern weathered the early push and responded with a 16-3 run to take an 18-14 lead. C.J. Reed was the catalyst for the Eagles as he scored nine points in the run on his way to 15 first half points. The Spartans regrouped and slowed the momentum as Armstrong scored off a fast break basket in the final minute to trim the deficit to 29-28 heading into the locker room.
The Spartans connected on 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from the field but just 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from three-point land. Simpson led the Spartans with seven points while Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) added six points and five rebounds.
Georgia Southern only connected on 24.1 percent (7-of-29) from the field, including just two three-pointers. The Eagles held the edge a the free throw line hitting 13-of-14 (92.9%) while also controlling the glass as they out-rebounded UNCG by a 26-13, including 12 offensive rebounds.
Georgia Southern came out of the break and opened on a quick 9-3 run to take a 38-31 lead before the Spartans regrouped with a 10-2 run to take a 41-40 lead. Junior Drew Parker (Houston, Texas/La Porte) started the spurt with a three-pointer before Simpson nailed a long-range shot in the corner.
The teams traded short runs again with the Spartans coming back to tie the game at 48-48 with 4:41 left in the game on an Armstrong three-pointer. The Eagles scored five straight points, including a big three-pointer from Baskerville for the five-point cushion giving them the lead for good.
The Spartans kept battling pulling within two points at 57-55 with 35 seconds left as junior David Williams (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) converted an old-fashioned three-point play. Georgia Southern kept the Spartans from taking the lead though as it hit seven of its last eight free throws to seal the victory.
The Spartans close out the 2012-13 regular season Saturday night as they take the short drive over the Burlington for a rematch against rival Elon. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
- UNCG -