November 9, 2012
Men's Basketball Rally Falls Short At High Point, 81-73
BOX SCORE (PDF)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men's basketball team rallied from 19-points down and cut the lead to two late in the second half, but the Spartans dropped an 81-73 decision to hosting High Point Friday night in the 2012-13 season opener at the Millis Center.
"Obviously, this is not the result we wanted but I am proud the guys never quit fighting and made the run we did in the second half," head coach Wes Miller
said. "We still need to learn what it takes to win games and the effort we showed in that 12-minute span in the second half is the type of effort we need on both ends of the floor the entire game."
Freshman forward Kayel Locke
(Owings Mill, Md./McDonogh) ignited the Spartans second-half rally as he scored 17 points off the bench, including 15 in the second half in his regular season debut. Locke connected on 7-of-12 from the field while hitting his first career three-pointer during a stretch scoring nine of 11 points for UNCG. Junior Trevis Simpson
(Douglas, Ga./Coffee) added a team-high 18 points as he shook off a slow start to score 14 points in the final 4:04 of the game.
High Point was led by redshirt freshman John Brown who scored 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his debut. Brown hit 12-of-22 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line while teaming with fellow post Allan Chaney to score 43 points. Chaney, a transfer from Virginia Tech, scored 15 points before fouling out in his first game since 2009 due to a health issue.
High Point used the energy of its home crowd at the start as it opened to a 16-9 lead with eight straight points. John Brown led the Panthers with eight of the Panthers' first 10 points. The Spartans weathered the early storm as senior Korey Van Dussen
(Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) scored on back-to-back possessions to make it a four-point game.
After the Panthers extended the lead back to 26-15, the Spartans started to settle in on both ends of the floor as they posted a 13-4 run to make it a one-point game at 29-28. Sophomore Nicholas Paulos
(Poulsbo, Wash./North Kitsap) and junior Drew Parker
(Houston, Texas/LaPorte) hit back-to-back three-pointers to ignite the spurt before senior Derrell Armstrong
(Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany CC) scored five straight, including an old-fashioned three-point play.
The Spartans tightened up the defense after the strong HPU start as they limited the Panthers to just 2-of-14 shooting during an eight-minute stretch. High Point slowed the Spartans' momentum heading into the break with a modest 8-3 run that included five-points off the bench from Lorenzo Cugini giving the Panthers a 39-33 lead at the half.
UNCG connected on 12-of-28 (42.9%) from the field and 3-of-8 (37.5%) from long range in the opening frame. Eight different Spartans scored in the half with Van Dussen, Parker and Armstrong leading the charge with six points apiece. High Point ended the half shooting 39.5 percent (15-of-38) from the field after starting on a 10-of-18 pace (55.6). Brown led all scorers in the first half with 13 points as he was 6-of-12 from the field while Cugini chipped in nine points.
High Point came out of the halftime break and posted a 17-4 run to extend the lead to 56-37 with 13:42 left in the game. Chaney scored the first four points of the second half before Brown added six straight in the early going to give the momentum back to the Panthers.
UNCG weathered the storm and righted the ship posting a 16-5 run to pull the game back into single digits at 63-57. Armstrong gave the Spartans life early in the run with a three-pointer before Locke took over scoring nine of 11 points for UNCG, including a jumper with 4:31 left to narrow the gap to six points.
After a High Point three-pointer, the Spartans posted an 11-2 run to trim the deficit to just two points at 70-68 with two minutes remaining. Simpson took over during the run, scoring nine of the 11 points including a big three-pointer which answer HPU's three-pointer at the start of the spurt.
The two-point threshold was as close as UNCG would get in the final two minutes as High Point hit 7-of-8 free throws in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
UNCG finished the game shooting 43.3 percent (26-of-60) from the field and 40 percent (8-of-20) from three-point land. The Spartans were off from the free throw line, connecting on just 56.5 percent (13-of-23) while also committing 17 turnovers.
Armstrong added 10 points off the bench to round out the Spartans in double figures but the usually reliable free throw shot was off for him as he hit just 3-of-8 after shooting 80.2 percent from the charity stripe last season. Junior David Williams
(Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) added six points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes before fouling out.
High Point ended the game shooting 44.1 percent (30-of-68) from the field and 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from long range. The Panthers converted 18 second chance points in the victory as they grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and notched nine steals.
The Spartans open the home portion of the 2012-13 schedule Monday night as they host Winston-Salem State at the Greensboro Coliseum. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Current military members and veterans of the armed forces are aligible to receive free tickets to the game in honor of Veterans Day by contacting the UNCG ticket office before noon Monday at 336-334-3250.
- UNCG -