GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team closes out the regular season with two-straight home games this weekend beginning Friday night when the Spartans host Chattanooga. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the ESPN App with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak on the call.
The Spartans enter Friday’s game in second place in the Southern Conference standings, just one game out of first place ETSU with two games remaining. UNCG has secured at least a No. 2 seed in the SoCon Tournament and still have avenues where it can secure the top seed and regular season title depending on what ETSU does in two home games this weekend.
UNCG enters Friday’s game with a 22-7 overall record and a 13-3 mark in Southern Conference play. The Spartans have won six out of their last seven games and 11 out of their last 13 games. UNCG is 14-1 at home this season, including a 7-0 mark in league play. The Spartans are averaging 74.1 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent (766-of-1708) from the field and 36.5 percent (284-of-779) from 3-point land. Opponents are averaging 63.3 points per game while shooting 41.2 percent (607-of-1473) from the field and 32.3 percent (189-of-586) from distance.
Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) leads the team and ranks second in the SoCon in scoring at 16.5 points per game. Alonso is second in the league with 100 made 3-pointers, connecting on 42.7 percent. He is two 3-pointers shy of tying his UNCG single-season record for made 3-pointers. Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) is second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points per game while grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game. Smith is second on the team with 60 made 3-pointers, hitting 32.8 percent from deep. He is shooting 77.6 percent (76-of-98) from the free throw line.
Sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the SoCon on the glass, grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game while adding 8.9 rebounds per game. Dickey leads the SoCon with 60 blocked shots and is shooting 53.3 percent (98-of-184) from the field. Freshman guard Isaiah Miller (Covington, Ga./Newton) adds 8.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game off the bench. Miller is shooting 54.4 percent (105-of-193) from the field. Junior guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) leads the Spartans with 119 assists while adding 7.1 points per game. Senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) adds 6.9 points and 4.7 rebounds while sophomore forward Kyrin Galloway (Milton, Ga./Milton) chips in 6.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Chattanooga enters Friday’s game with a 9-20 overall record and a 3-13 mark in Southern Conference play. The Mocs have dropped three-straight and five out of their last six games. Chattanooga’s three league wins have come against Samford, UNCG and The Citadel with all three wins coming at home. The Mocs are 1-12 this year on the road, including an 0-7 mark in SoCon play. Chattanooga is averaging 69.8 points per game and shooting 43.7 percent (690-of-1578) from the field and 35.3 percent (242-of-685) from 3-point land. Opponents are averaging 73.4 points per game while shooting 47.7 percent (784-of-1642) from the field and 36.2 percent (205-of-567) from deep.
Nat Dixon leads the Mocs in scoring at 14.5 points per game while adding 4.7 rebounds per game. Dixon is second on the team with 59 made 3-pointers, connecting on 39.9 percent. Makinde London is second on the team with 13.6 points per game while leading the team with 6.9 rebounds per game. Rodney Chatman leads the team with 130 assists while averaging 13.3 points per game. Makale Foreman leads the team with 63 made 3-pointers, hitting 37.3 percent from deep.
Spartans trail the all-time series by a 24-18 margin and have dropped five out of the last seven meetings. The two teams have split the regular season series the past two seasons, including a 73-68 victory for the Spartans at the Greensboro Coliseum. Earlier this year, the Spartans suffered an improbable 87-85 double overtime loss at Chattanooga. UNCG was plagued by foul trouble all night as the Spartans were called for 28 fouls compared to only 14 for Chattanooga. The Spartans had five players foul out of the game, including four post players and four starters. Chattanooga went to the free throw line 38 times, converting 76.3 percent, compared to just 18 attempts for UNCG, hitting at 77.8 percent.
The wild, back-and-forth game saw the Spartans close regulation on a 7-1 run to force overtime while Chattanooga scored the final seven points in 35.6 seconds of the first overtime to force the second overtime period. Alonso led four Spartans in double figures with 20 points before fouling out as he hit just 4-of-16 from deep. Miller added 17 points off the bench, connecting on 7-of-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from the free throw line. Smith added 14 points and eight rebounds before fouling out while Galloway scored a career-high 14 points off the bench before also fouling out. Nat Dixon led the Mocs with 30 points and eight rebounds in 47 minutes of play. Dixon connected on 9-of-16 from the field and was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Rodney Chatman added 22 points and nine rebounds, hitting 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Joshua Phillips posted a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, heading to the free throw line 10 times.
-- UNCG --