GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team improved to 2-1 on the young season as the Spartans easily controlled visiting NCAA Division II member Chowan 97-58 Sunday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Spartans had five players scored in double figures in the victory, with eight players scoring at least eight points.
“I thought we responded well after a tough loss to East Carolina a few nights ago,” head coach Wes Miller said. “It was good to leave the locker room with a win today. I thought we did some nice things and took some things we worked on in practice and brought them to the game. Chowan played primarily zone and it gave a chance to work against that in game situations. Also, we got a chance for some of our young guys to get into the game and get some live game experience, which will help us down the road.”
Junior forward Kyle Cain (Chicago, Ill./Arizona State) led all scorers with 17 points in just 24 minutes of action. Cain was 7-of-14 from the field and hit all three free throws; marking the third time in as many games he has scored at least 16 points. In fact, Cain has connected on 59.5 percent (22-of-37) through his first three games as a Spartan while he is averaging 18.0 points per game.
Freshman Tevon Saddler (Aberdeen, Md./St. Frances Academy) came off the bench for the first time this season and scored 15 points in just 17 minutes. Saddler continued to get to the free throw line, hitting 7-of-11 from the charity stripe to go along with his 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Saddler also grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists.
Freshman Tyrone Outlaw (Roxboro, N.C./Person County) continued his strong start to his career as he posted an all-around performance in his first career start. Outlaw scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out three assists, notched two steals and tallied a blocked shot in 24 minutes. Freshman Clay Byrd (Connelly Springs, N.C./East Burke) scored his first points of his career, finishing with 12 points off the bench hitting 4-of-6 from three-point land.
Sophomore forward Kayel Locke (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) rounded out the Spartans in double figures with 11 points. Redshirt freshman center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) came off the bench and nearly posted a double-double in the second half as scored a career-high eight points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds in just 10 second half minutes.
UNCG connected on 57.1 percent (36-of-63) from the field and 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from long range in the victory. The Spartans dominated play in the paint, out-rebounding Chowan by a 50-22 margin while scoring 50 points in the paint. The Spartans also dished out 21 assists while only turning the ball over a season-low eight times.
The Spartans came out of the gate quickly against the Hawks, opening to a 9-2 lead just under four minutes into the game. Junior Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) opened the scoring with an early three-pointer, while Cain scored five quick points to star the game off right.
Chowan settled in and kept the game within six at 15-9 before the Spartans scored eight straight points to extend the lead to double figures at 23-9. Byrd put UNCG in front by double digits for good at the 12:42 mark, hitting a three-pointer against the zone before senior Drew Parker (Houston, Texas/La Porte) hit a wide open three-pointer.
UNCG closed the first half on an 18-6 run to head into the locker room with a 49-25 lead. The Spartans were balanced in the half-closing run as six different players scored, including four points against from Outlaw, Locke and Cain. UNCG connected on 62.1 percent (18-of-29) from the field and hit 10-of-13 (76.9%) from the free throw line. Cain led all scorers with 15 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
The two teams went back and forth for most of the second half before the Spartans nailed down the victory over the final 9:54, out-scoring the Hawks 28-8. Outlaw was the catalyst in the beginning of the run, scoring six straight at one point on his way to seven points in the final 10 minutes. Byrd capped the solid game as he hit three three-pointers in the final four minutes to help UNCG record the 39-point victory.
Paulos finished eight with points in 22 minutes of action while Parker dished out a season-high seven assists. Freshman Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) added nine points, five rebounds and five assists without committing a turnover in 24 minutes off the bench.
Chowan finished the game shooting 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the field and just 29.6 percent (8-of-27) from long range. Warren Powers led the Hawks with 15 points and seven rebounds as the only player in double figures for Chowan.
The Spartans conclude their season-opening four-game home stretch Wednesday night as they host crosstown foe Greensboro College. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum and will be the final tune-up prior to the Gulf Coast Showcase Nov. 25-27.
- UNCG -