Menís Basketball Hosts Rival Elon Wednesday Night
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team continues its three-game home stretch Wednesday night as the Spartans host Southern Conference and Triad rival Elon. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum and will be broadcast on 1320 WCOG AM with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak providing the call. Additionally, the game will be video streamed online at www.uncgspartans.com for free.
The Spartans enter Wednesday’s game with a 12-15 overall record and a 5-7 mark in Southern Conference play. UNCG currently sits in sole possession of the sixth seed in the SoCon with four regular season game remaining until the 2014 SoCon Tournament in Asheville.
The Spartans are coming off a hard fought 82-77 overtime loss Sunday at home to Western Carolina in a game that featured 18 tie scores and 13 lead changes. The back-and-forth affair saw WCU tie the game with 16 seconds remaining in regulation before out-scoring UNCG 11-6 in the extra time as it hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the extra session.
Junior forward Kyle Cain (Chicago, Ill./Arizona State) leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game and has scored in double figures in 24-of-27 games this year. Cain leads the team on the glass grabbing 9.3 rebounds per game and is coming off his 10th double-double of the season Sunday with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Freshman guard Tevon Saddler (Aberdeen, Md./St. Frances Academy) is second on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game. Saddler picked up his league-leading fifth SoCon Freshman of the Week honors Tuesday and his 12.6 points per game average is tops among all league freshman. He also leads the team with 186 free throw attempts, 129 free throws made, 81 assists and 33 steals.
Sophomore forward Kayel Locke (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) rounds out the Spartans in double figures scoring at 11.8 points per game while also grabbing 4.3 rebounds per game. Redshirt freshman center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) has come on of late, averaging 7.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game off the bench over the last five games. Junior Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) leads the team with 65 three-pointers and chips in 9.2 points per game.
Elon enters Wednesday’s game with a 15-11 overall record and an 8-3 mark in Southern Conference play. The Phoenix have won five straight games and have not lost since Jan. 25 at Samford (62-59). Elon is 4-6 on the road this season, including a 2-3 mark in league play. The Phoenix are shooting 37.8 percent (218-of-576) from three-point land this season, averaging 8.4 made three-pointers per game.
Forward Lucas Troutman leads the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game and on the glass at 6.3 rebounds per game. Troutman is shooting 54.2 percent (148-of-273) from the field and 71.4 percent (95-of-133) from the free throw line. Sebastian Koch is second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game. Koch leads the team with 72 three-pointers and is one of three Phoenix players with at least 35 three-pointers made.
Ryley Beaumont rounds out the Elon players in double figures scoring at 10.5 points per game while also grabbing 5.7 rebounds. Tanner Samson is second on the team with 67 three-pointers and is averaging 9.9 points per game.
Wednesday’s game marks the 37th meeting all-time between UNCG and Elon. The Spartans trail the all-time series by a 13-23 margin and have dropped nine straight games to the Phoenix in the series. UNCG last won against Elon Jan. 28, 2010 with a 63-55 victory in Greensboro and the Spartans’ last win at Elon came Jan. 17, 2009 (89-72).
Earlier this year, the Spartans suffered a 72-66 loss at Elon, less than two weeks prior. The Spartans rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit and took a 44-41 lead early in the second half before falling to host Elon at Alumni Gym. UNCG opened the second half on a 19-6 run to take the three-point lead before Elon answered back with nine straight points to retake the lead. The Spartans connected on just 35.9 percent (23-of-64) from the field and 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from three-point land in the loss while also losing the rebounding battle by a 46-41 margin, including 18 offensive rebounds by the Phoenix. The Spartans’ defense was strong in the loss, holding Elon to 40.3 percent (25-of-62) shooting from the field and 10 percent (2-of-20) from long range.
Cain was one of three Spartans in double figures in the loss with 16 points and eight rebounds as he was 7-of-16 from the field. Saddler was tied for the team-lead with 16 points as he hit 8-of-12 from the charity stripe. Locke rounded out the Spartans in double figures at 15 points while also grabbing nine rebound. Beaumont’s 14 points and nine rebounds led Elon, while Troutman and Kevin Blake each added 13 points.
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