For Wes Miller's post-game comments, click here
CHARLESTON, S.C.—Derrell Armstrong and Trevis Simpson combined to score 11 points in the final 5:34 as UNCG rallied for a 73-66 win over Southern Conference foe College of Charleston, Thursday at TD Arena.
The win not only snapped the Spartans' 11-game losing streak, it also gave interim head coach Wes Miller his first win since taking over the program on Dec. 13.
A three-point play by Armstrong with 3.1 seconds left in the first half helped give UNCG (3-14 overall, 1-4 SoCon) a 36-35 halftime lead. But Charleston (11-5, 3-2) quickly erased the advantage and led 55-49 after a pair of Andrew Lawrence free throws with 11:24 remaining.
UNCG started its comeback with a three-pointer by Drew Parker and a layup by Kyle Randall to get within 55-54 with 10:43 left. After two more free throws by Lawrence and a layup by Adjehi Baru put the Cougars in front 59-54, a three-pointer by Korey Van Dussen and a free throw from Aloysius Henry cut the lead down to one at 59-58 with 8:31 to play.
The teams exchanged baskets over the next several minutes before the Spartans finally tied the game at 61 all on Armstrong's layup with 5:34 to go. Armstrong's jumper in the lane at 4:31 gave UNCG a 63-61 lead.
Charleston tied the game at 63 on a layup by Trent Weideman, but Simpson converted a three-point play with 3:13 remaining for a 66-63 lead. The Spartans never trailed again.
Clinging to a three-point lead, UNCG's David Williams blocked a layup attempt by Matt Sundberg and Simpson converted a jumper in transition as UNCG forged a 68-63 lead with 1:52 left.
But the game was far from over. After coming up empty on their next possession, the Cougars were forced to foul, sending Henry to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity. He missed the initial free throw but Williams snagged the rebound and found Armstrong, who was immediately fouled. Armstrong made a pair of freebies for a 70-63 lead with 38 seconds left, all but sealing the win for UNCG.
The game started out quite differently than it ended. The Cougars busted out of the starting gates, hitting six of their first nine shots for a 16-6 lead with 14:49 remaining in the half. But UNCG responded with a 14-2 run for a 20-18 lead, beginning a see-saw affair which included 10 lead changes and six ties.
Simpson and Armstrong each scored 16 points. Simpson was 6-of-15 from the field, adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Armstrong was 5-of-11 from the field and made all five of his free throws. The 6-1 guard added seven rebounds and three assists.
Several other players enjoyed key performances as well for UNCG. Nicholas Paulos finished with 11 points, and Henry grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds with seven points and a pair of blocked shots. Parker had nine points and four assists.
Weideman led Charleston with 15 points and nine rebounds.
UNCG shot 44.1 percent from the field, including 7-of-18 from three-point range. The Spartans were also 14-of-22 from the free throw line.
The Spartans won despite 22 turnovers, due mainly to a 48-36 rebounding edge.
UNCG limited the Cougars to 37 percent shooting for the game, including 29 percent in the second half.
The Spartans resume their road trip when they visit The Citadel, 7 p.m., Saturday.