Men’s Basketball Picks Up 102-74 Exhibition Victory Over Bluefield State
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Five Spartans scored in double figures as the UNCG men's basketball team posted a 102-74 victory over NCAA Division II member Bluefield State in an exhibition game culminating the 2012 Homecoming festivities held in front of a capacity crowd of 1,842 fans at Fleming Gymnasium on campus.
Junior Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) led all scorers in double figures with 21 points, while fifth-year senior Kelvin McNeil (Newport News, Va./Delaware) and junior David Williams (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) posted double-doubles. Williams chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds while McNeil contributed 15 points and 11 boards. Simpson was 7-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free throw line in just 26 minutes of action.
"This atmosphere tonight was amazing," Simpson said. "It is definitely a good feeling to come out to a packed house. It lets us know the school and the city is behind us. An environment like that tends to hype you up, maybe too much in the start, but it was a good start to see people supporting us and we hope they can continue at the (Greensboro) Coliseum."
UNCG out-shot the Blues .515 to .323, while also holding the upper hand in rebounding 50-37. The Spartans did a solid job of sharing the ball, recording 21 assists – seven of which came from junior Drew Parker (Houston, Texas/LaPorte), while senior Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany CC) added six assists off the bench.
The Blues hung around in the first half as they were strong from long range, hitting 6-of-13 three-pointers to limit the UNCG halftime lead to 45-40. The Spartans connected on 45.2 percent (14-of-31) from the field but hit just 3-of-10 (30 percent) from three-point land. UNCG committed 11 turnovers which led to 12 points against.
Simpson led all scorers with 13 points in the opening frame, one of three Spartans in double figures. McNeil added 11 points and seven rebounds while Williams chipped in 10 points and six rebounds. Bluefield State connected on 34.4 percent (11-of-32) from the field in the first half and committed 13 miscues. Daven Morris led the Blues with nine points while Johnny Uhegwu chipped in seven points off the bench.
The Spartans came out of the halftime break and opened the second half on a 12-4 run to take a 57-44 lead, forcing a Bluefield State timeout. Senior Kory Van Dussen (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland) ignited the spurt with five points, including a three-pointer in transition. Simpson capped the spurt by scoring with a baseline jumper while closely guarded.
UNCG broke the game open after Bluefield State narrowed the gap to 57-47 with a 24-6 run over a 7:28 stretch to extend the lead to 81-53. Seven different Spartans scored during the stretch, including eight points from Armstrong who 10 of his 14 points in the second half. Simpson added five points while sophomore Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) drained a three-pointer in transition to end the threat from Bluefield State.
The Spartans connected on 35-of-68 (51.15 percent) from the field and 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from long range. UNCG tallied 14 steals in the victory as it forced the Blues into 22 turnovers, scoring 23 points off those miscues. Armstrong scored 14 points off the bench as he was 4-of-9 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Van Dussen added 11 points and three assists to round out the Spartans in double figures as he was 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe. Freshman Kayel Locke (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh) added nine points and four rebounds off the bench while classmate RJ White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) chipped in five points, all from the free throw line.
Bluefield State was held to 32.3 percent (20-of-62) shooting from the field and finished the night shooting 29.2 percent (7-of-24) from long range. Morris led the Blues with 16 points as he was 9-of-13 from the field while Uhegwu and Treon Claiborne added nine points apiece.
The Spartans open the 2012-13 regular season Nov. 9 as they travel across the Triad to face High Point at 7 p.m. UNCG opens the home portion of the schedule Nov. 12, hosting Winston-Salem State at the Greensboro Coliseum.
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