Trevis Simpson Highlights
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior guard Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) tied the UNCG single-game scoring mark with a career high 41 points Sunday afternoon, lifting the UNCG men's basketball team past Chattanooga, 77-69 at the Greensboro Coliseum. His 41 points scored are tied for third most by any player in NCAA Division I this season.
Simpson scored a career-best 27 at the half, including seven three pointers, as his 41-point effort is the largest for UNCG during the NCAA Division I era. His 41 points are the most scored by a player from the Southern Conference this season and the most points scored by a SoCon player since Ricky Taylor of Chattanooga scored 41 points in 2011. He connected on 14-of-25 from the field, 7-of-13 from three-point land and 6-of-9 from the charity stripe while also grabbing seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action.
"I felt like I was in the zone," Simpson said. "When you are on and your teammates keep getting you the ball in open areas, you are going to have a good night shooting. I was in a rhythm early today and the credit goes to my teammates who found me in good spots and to coach who kept calling plays for me."
UNCG improved to 4-4 in SoCon play to move just two games behind Elon and Samford in the loss column of the North Division. The Spartans connected on 40.6 percent (26-of-64) from the field and 37.9 percent (11-of-29) from long range in the victory as they dished out 15 assists. UNCG out-rebounded the Mocs by a 39-34 margin, including grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
Junior David Williams (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) turned in another strong all-around effort as he scored seven points, grabbed nine rebounds and posted four steals. Williams was key down the stretch as he scored one of the game's biggest baskets after Chattanooga cut the lead to two points under two minutes left and notched back-to-back steals on the defensive end in the final minute of play to seal the victory.
"I thought we did a good job coming in and building on a really good effort last time out (against Samford)," head coach Wes Miller said. "Our ball movement today was as good as it has been all year with 15 assists and a positive assist/turnover ratio. Our team got humongous stops in the last two minutes -- stops that led to breakaway baskets which put the game away. We did a great job as a team cutting and screening offensively as we collectively made it difficult for Chattanooga to defense."
Chattanooga (8-13, 3-5 SoCon) finished the game shooting 44.0 percent (22-of-50) from the field and 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from long range. The Mocs were led by Z. Mason, who posted a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Ronrico White added 15 points.
UNCG started slowly as it missed its first seven shots from the field and is first two free throws before hitting its first basket at the 14:46 mark trailing 9-2. The Spartans quickly flipped the momentum of the game as Simpson scored the first nine points of the game for UNCG after closing last game scoring the final 14 points for the Spartans (vs. Samford).
UNCG posted a 22-5 run to take a 24-14 lead in just a span of 4:59 of play. Simpson scored 10 points during the run while sophomore Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) nailed three three-pointers in the spurt. Freshman Jordan Potts (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) kept the three-point barrage going as he nailed a three-pointer before Simpson capped the run with another long-distance shot.
Chattanooga kept batting as it trimmed the UNCG lead to single digits on numerous occasions, but each time Simpson had the answer. He nailed a 30-foot three-pointer as the shot clock was expiring and fittingly hit a three-pointer at the buzzer ending the first half to send the Spartans into the locker room with a 41-31 lead.
Simpson scored 27 points in the first half as he was 9-of-14 from the field, including hitting 6-of-8 from three-point land after scoring 30 points last game, including 22 in the second half versus Samford. Over the past 40 minutes of game action, he has scored 49 points on 15-of-27 shooting from the field. His first half performance led UNCG which shot 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from the field and 50 percent (10-of-20) from long range in the first half.
Chattanooga kept in the game as it shot 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from the field and his 6-of-9 (66.7%) from the free throw line. The Mocs also out-rebounded UNCG 20-17 in the first half but committed nine first half turnovers compared to just two for the Spartans. White led Chattanooga with nine points while Sam Watson chipped in seven points off the bench.
After the teams went back-and-forth for much of the second half, the Spartans extended their lead to 60-48 with 7:52 left in the game when Potts drove down the lane and scored a layup. The Mocs kept battling though as they narrowed the gap to just two points at 67-65 with a 17-7 run, culminating with a Mason jump shot at the 2:14 mark. Mason scored 13 of the Mocs' 17 points during the run, including a big three-pointer which ignited the run for Chattanooga.
The Spartans were in need of a basket on the ensuing possession to maintain the lead and got what they were looking for from Williams. He got the ball at the top of the arc and drove the down the lane and laid the ball in at the rim for a pivotal play to extend the lead back to four at 69-65.
The Spartans forced a missed shot on the next possession and Chattanooga fouled Potts, who calmly hit both free throws to give UNCG a six-point lead. The Spartans iced the game on the defensive end as they notched back-to-back steals by Williams, both of which led to acrobatic fast break baskets by Simpson to seal the victory.
Paulos finished the game with 11 points off the bench in 22 minutes as action as he hit three three-pointers, all in the first half. Freshman Kayel Locke (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) added nine points and five rebounds while Potts scored seven points and dished out a career-high five assists off the bench.
UNCG concludes its five-game home stand Thursday night as the Spartans host Triad rival Elon. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.
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