GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team return to action Saturday afternoon as the Spartans close out their three-game road swing against Big South Conference foe Liberty. Game time in Lynchburg, Va., is set for 1 p.m. at the Vines Center. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and the Big South Network with Ryan Clary and Kenn Blankenship on the call. Additionally, the game will be radio broadcast on TuneIn with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak on the call.
The Spartans enter Saturday’s game with a 4-3 overall record and have dropped their last two games at Wake Forest and at Presbyterian. UNCG is 0-3 on the road this year and 4-0 at home this season. The Spartans are averaging 74.6 points per game on offense and holding opponents to 58.9 points per game. UNCG is out-rebounding opponents by a 36.0-27.3 margin this year. The Spartans are shooting 46.4 percent (186-of-401) from the field and 38.2 percent (73-of-191) from 3-point land. Opponents are shooting 42.6 percent (140-of-329) from the field and 33.3 percent (43-of-129) from deep.
Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) leads the team and ranks third in the Southern Conference in scoring at 17.0 points per game. Alonso leads the team with 24 made 3-pointers, hitting 48 percent from deep. Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game and third on the team grabbing 5.0 rebounds per game. Smith is second on the team with 16 made 3-pointers.
Sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the team and the SoCon on the glass grabbing 9.1 rebounds per game. Dickey adds 9.3 points per game and is shooting 52.8 percent (28-of-53) from the field. He is coming off a career-high 18 points while grabbing 13 rebounds against the Blue Hose. Junior guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) chips in 7.6 points per game and leads the team with 20 assists. Troy has hit 11 3-pointers this year. Senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) is second on the team with 5.1 rebounds per game.
Saturday’s game marks the 18th meeting all-time between UNCG and Liberty. The Spartans hold a 9-8 record all-time against the Flames and have won three straight in the series. UNCG has won eight out of the last 10 meetings dating back to the 1994-95 season. The teams have played three times as non-conference foes with UNCG winning all three games. UNCG won both games in a home-and-home series wit wins in 2003 and 2004 by 74-63 and 74-79 margins, respectively. The Spartans are 6-8 against the Flames as members of the Big South Conference.
Last year, the Spartans posted a 72-65 victory over Liberty on campus at Fleming Gymnasium. UNCG and Liberty combined to shoot 59 free throws in the game with the Spartans hitting 25-of-36 from the charity stripe. The free throws helped UNCG overcome a 5-of-17 (29.4%) shooting day from 3-point land. Former Spartan R.J. White led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds. Smith added 17 points and six rebounds while Alonso came off the bench to score 15 points, including 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Caleb Homesley led the Flames with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Ray Chen came off the bench to score 14 points.
Liberty enters Saturday’s game with a 5-2 overall record and a 4-2 mark at home this season. The Flames have wins over Clarks Summit, Wake Forest, Quinnipiac, Toccoa Falls and Howard while dropping games to Mercer and Houston at home. Liberty has won three-straight heading into Saturday’s game. The Flames are averaging 76.4 points per game while holding opponents to 59.4 points per game. Liberty is shooting 47.6 percent (180-of-378) from the field and 36.2 percent (55-of-152) from 3-point land. Opponents are shooting 41.2 percent (149-of-362) from the field and 30.9 percent (47-of-152) from deep.
Lovell Cabbil leads three Flames averaging double figures at 12.7 points per game while grabbing 4.6 rebounds per game. Cabbil is shooting 92 percent (23-of-25) from the free throw line. Scottie James is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game while leading the team on the glass at 8.4 rebounds per game. James is shooting 58 percent (29-of-50) from the field and has gone to the free throw line 25 times. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz rounds out the double figure scorers at 10.6 points per game and is shooting 92.9 percent (26-of-28) from the free throw line.
-- UNCG --