Spartans stretch win streak to five, nab 77-73 overtime win against Appalachian State
For video of UNCG's post-game press conference, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. –Derrell Armstrong and Trevis Simpson combined for 51 points, and Taylor Hoffer recorded his first career double-double as UNCG downed Southern Conference foe Appalachian State, 77-73, in overtime on Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum.
With the win, the Spartans (7-14, 5-4) not only extended their winning streak to five games, they also matched last year's win total with more than a month left in the season.
UNCG appeared to be well on its way to victory at the end of regulation before the Mountaineers (8-11, 4-5) rallied late. With the Spartans up 63-56 after a pair of Hoffer free throws with 1:28 to go, ASU got a three-pointer by Mike Neal to pull within 63-59.
Armstrong made one-of-two free throws to give the Spartans a 64-59 advantage with 1:10 left before the Mountaineers closed the half by going five of six at the free throw line, tying it at 64 all on Omar Carter's two freebies with 14 seconds left. UNCG had one last chance but Simpson missed a 17-foot jumper with two seconds left and the game went into overtime.
Free throws won the game for UNCG in overtime as the Spartans never trailed in the extra session. Hoffer made four straight free throws in the first 57 seconds of the bonus frame as UNCG took a 68-64 lead.
The Mountaineers twice closed to within one point, the last time coming at 72-71. But Simpson made it 74-71 on a layup with 2:36 left. Both teams traded multiple empty possessions before Armstrong hit one of two free throws to give UNCG a 75-71 lead with 20 seconds left.
Hamilton hit a layup for ASU with three seconds to go to make it 75-73, but Armstrong iced the game with a pair of free throws for the final score.
UNCG won despite a lackluster first half in which the Spartans trailed by as many as 17 points (30-13). But Armstrong led the charge for UNCG at the end of the half, scoring six points in the final 4:38 of the half as the Spartans closed to within 32-26 at the break.
Armstrong led all scorers with 27 points, adding eight rebounds and two assists. The junior guard –
who has scored 26 or more points in three straight games – was 10-for-20 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
Simpson scored 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, scoring 21 points after halftime. Hoffer was 2-of-3 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line in a career-high 24 minutes.
Omar Carter led ASU with 19 points, while Andre Williamson added 13 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
After shooting just 38 percent in the first half, UNCG finished at 43 percent for the game. The Spartans went 18-of-27 from the free throw line, but made 16-of-23 in the second half and overtime.
UNCG limited Appalachian to 44 percent shooting, and out-rebounded the Mountaineers 40-33.
The Spartans return to action when they host Western Carolina, 2 p.m., Saturday at Greensboro Coliseum.