Menís Basketball Heads To The Garden State Saturday To Battle Rutgers
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team hits the road this weekend making a trip to the Garden State as the Spartans take on American Athletic Conference foe Rutgers Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN App with Jonathan Yardley and Mo Cassara.
UNCG enters Saturday’s game with a 5-5 record on the year after posting a 75-70 victory over Claflin Wednesday afternoon. The Spartans continue to shoot the ball well this season, hitting 47.4 percent (264-of-557) from the field and 37.3 percent (63-of-169) from three-point land, both which rank second in the Southern Conference.
Junior forward Kyle Cain (Chicago, Ill./Arizona State) leads the team and ranks seventh in the league in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Cain has scored in double figures eight of 10 games this season, including four games of 20 or more points. He also leads the team and the SoCon on the glass, grabbing 8.1 caroms per game including a team-high 55 defensive rebounds.
Sophomore forward Kayel Locke (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) is third on the team in scoring at 11.2 points per game and is second on the glass at 5.2 rebounds per game. Locke is coming off a career-high 25 points against Claflin as he shot 10-of-17 from the field. Freshman guard Tevon Saddler (Aberdeen, Md./St. Frances Academy) adds 12.7 points per game and has gone to the free throw line 76 times, 40 more times than his nearest teammate.
Junior Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) rounds out the Spartans in double figures, averaging 10.2 points per game. Paulos leads the team with 24 three-pointers made. Sophomore guard Jordan Potts (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) is shooting a team-high 68.2 percent (15-of-21) from three-point land this season, the top mark in the SoCon.
Saturday’s game marks the second straight year UNCG and Rutgers have met on the hardwood. The Spartans dropped a hard-fought 87-80 victory to the Scarlet Knights at the Greensboro Coliseum last year. Rutgers connected on 57.4 percent (31-of-54) from the field and hit 21-of-24 (84%) from the free throw line in the victory. Conversely, UNCG connected on just 42 percent (29-of-69) from the field and only 28 percent (7-of-25) from three-point land.
Former Spartans Derrell Armstrong and Trevis Simpson led the Spartans in the loss, scoring 25 and 16 points respectively. Eli Carter led Rutgers with 25 points, while Myles Mack added 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field including all three three-pointers.
Rutgers enters Saturday’s game with a 4-7 overall record and will be playing its 10th home game of the season at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights have dropped four straight games and six out of their last seven entering the matchup with the Spartans. Rutgers has picked up wins over Florida A&M, Yale, Canisius and Stillman College while dropping games to UAB, Drexel, William & Mary, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Washington, Seton Hall and most recently Princeton. Rutgers was a Big East Conference member last year, is a member of the AAC this season and will move to the Big Ten next year.
Rutgers is averaging 76.9 points per game this season and hits an average of 7.5 three-pointers per game. Mack leads the team in scoring at 16.0 points per game and has dished out 41 assists. He leads the team with 23 three-pointers and is shooting a team-best 82 percent (41-of-50) from the free throw line. Kadeem Jack is second on the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game and leads the team on the glass grabbing 7.3 rebounds per game.
J.J. Moore, a transfer from Pittsburgh, is third on the team in scoring at 13.1 points and has hit 17 three-pointers this year. Jerome Seagears rounds out the Scarlet Knights in double figures, adding 10.5 points per game.
- UNCG -