GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team takes it three-game winning streak to Raleigh Saturday as the Spartans battle Atlantic Coast Conference foe N.C. State in a rare matinee game. Game time is set for noon at PNC Arena and will be broadcast on FOX Sports South and ESPN3 with Wes Durham and Mike Gminski on the call. The game will be radio broadcast on TuneIn with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak on the call.
Additionally, the game will be carried across the country on the following networks – FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Midwest, YES, NBC Sports Washington, NES, AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh, SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports North Plus, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports West, AT&T Sportsnet Las Vegas, AT&T Sportsnet Rocky Mountain and Root Sports Northwest.
The Spartans have won their last three games, knocking off Liberty on the road and winning back-to-back games against Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) members Elon and UNCW. UNCG has one of the top defenses in the country through the first 10 games of the season. The Spartans enter Saturday’s game leading the Southern Conference and ranking sixth in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 58.9 points per game. This is a vast improvement over last year’s team, which finished the year allowing 69.3 points per game.
The Spartans are holding opponents to 28.4 percent (55-of-194) shooting from 3-point land, ranking 16th in the nation, and 39.4 percent (196-of-497) shooting from the field to rank 49th in the country. In six out of the Spartans’ seven wins this year, UNCG has held opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field. In seven out of the 10 total games, the Spartans have held opponents under 30 percent shooting from 3-point land. Additionally, UNCG ranks 10th in the country with 100 steals through 10 games.
The Spartans are just 1-3 on the road this year with their lone win coming in triple overtime at Liberty. UNCG dropped road games at Virginia, Wake Forest and Presbyterian. The Spartans are averaging 74.4 points per game while limiting opponents to 58.9 points per game. UNCG is shooting 44 percent (266-of-604) from the field and 35.8 percent (103-of-288) from 3-point land.
Five different Spartans are averaging at least seven points per game while eight players are averaging over 5.0 points per game. Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) leads the team and ranks second in the Southern Conference in scoring at 18.2 points per game. Alonso leads the team and ranks ninth in the country with 38 made 3-pointers, connecting on 45.8 percent. Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) is second on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game while adding 4.3 rebounds per game. Smith is second on the team with 21 made 3-pointers and is shooting 35.6 percent from deep.
Sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the team and the SoCon on the glass grabbing 9.6 rebounds per game. Dickey is third on the team in scoring with 8.5 points per game while leading the team with 25 blocked shots. Freshman guard Isaiah Miller (Covington, Ga./Newton) is fourth on the team in scoring at 7.7 points per game, despite only averaging 14.6 minutes per game off the bench. Senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) and sophomore forward Kyrin Galloway (Milton, Ga./Milton) are tied for second on the team with 5.2 rebounds per game.
Saturday’s game marks the 11th meeting all-time between UNCG and N.C. State. The Spartans have dropped the previous 10 meetings to the Wolfpack, including all eight in Raleigh. The teams have provided close games the last two times they met with N.C. State winning 58-52 in 2015-16 in Raleigh and 68-64 in Greensboro in 2013-14. In the last meeting in 2015, former Spartans Diante Baldwin and R.J. White led the way with 13 and 11 points respectively. Guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) scored nine points and dished out four assists off the bench during his freshman year. Cat Barber led N.C. State with 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field.
Saturday’s game marks the third contest this season for UNCG against a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Spartans have already faced off against Virginia (L, 48-60) and Wake Forest (L, 75-81), both on the road. This marks the 15th straight season the Spartans have faced at least one ACC foe during the year. The Spartans are 2-59 all-time against the ACC with their lone victories coming at Virginia Tech (2013) and at Georgia Tech (2007).
North Carolina State enters Saturday’s game with an 8-2 record and has been off since Dec. 9 for final exams. N.C. State is riding a three-game winning streak heading into the matchup with UNCG. The Wolfpack has picked up wins over VMI, Charleston Southern, Bryant, Presbyterian, Penn State, South Carolina State and UMKC -- all at home this season. N.C. State has also picked up a win over Arizona in a neutral site game while falling to Northern Iowa and Tennessee in a neutral site. The Wolfpack are averaging 84.5 points per game and allowing 69.6 points per game against. N.C. State is shooting 47.6 percent (300-of-630) from the field and 32.2 percent (64-of-199) from 3-point land. Opponents are shooting 42.9 percent (245-of-571) from the field and 29.4 percent (55-of-187) from distance.
Allerik Freeman leads four Wolfpack players averaging double figures this season at 15.1 points per game. Freeman is second on the team with 13 made 3-pointers and has been to the free throw line a team-high 56 times, connecting on 75 percent. Torin Dorn is second on the team in scoring at 14.0 points per game while leading the team on the glass with 7.5 rebounds per game. Omer Yurtseven is tied for third on the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game while grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game. Braxton Beverly rounds out the Wolfpack players in double figures scoring at 12.3 points per game. Markell Johnson leads the team with 66 assists and 24 steals.
-- UNCG --