UNCG (8-6, 5-1 SoCon) at Samford (11-4, 4-2 SoCon), Jan. 10, 1 p.m. Eastern, Pete Hanna Center, Birmingham, Ala.
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via GoMocs.com)
Video: SamfordSports.com (subscription-based)
• First-place UNCG will try to rebound from its first Southern Conference loss of the season when it takes on preseason SoCon favorite Samford in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday.
• The Spartans dropped their first league game of the season at Chattanooga on Saturday, falling 72-63 to snap their six-game winning streak. Despite the loss, UNCG remained in first place in the league at 5-1, a half-game ahead of Appalachian State (4-1) and a game ahead of Samford and Chattanooga (both 4-2). The Bulldogs, ranked No. 22 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, could have moved into a tie for first with UNCG on Saturday, but dropped a home contest against Elon.
• With wins in eight of their last 11 games, the Spartans are one of the hottest teams in the SoCon. UNCG opened the season 0-3 before turning things around. UNCG is 5-1 in the league for the first time since the 2001-02 season, when the Spartans opened SoCon play 11-1. This season marks just the fourth 5-1 start in school history.
• Monday's contest will wrap up UNCG's brutal stretch of five games in 11 days. UNCG played on Dec. 31 (Davidson), Jan. 3 (Western Carolina), Wednesday (Georgia Southern) and Saturday (Chattanooga). The Spartans are 3-1 so far in the marathon stretch.
• UNCG's 56-50 win at Western Carolina on Jan. 3 was coach Lynne Agee's 550th at UNCG. She is now 551-301 in 30 seasons at the helm for the Spartans. Overall, she is 597-324 in her 33-year career and needs three more wins to become just the 12th active coach to reach 600.
• Samford owns a slight lead in the all-time series, 3-2. The squads first met in the 2008-09 season, Samford's first in the Southern Conference. The teams have split regular-season meetings in each of the last two years with the Bulldogs grabbing the edge in the series via a quarterfinals win in the SoCon Championship in 2008-09. Both Samford wins over the Spartans in Birmingham have been by just three points. The Bulldogs took a 44-41 win in 2008-09 and a 54-51 win last season.
• Savannah Hill had a game-high 18 points in the last meeting between the teams, the 54-51 Samford win on Jan. 30, 2010. Kendra Smith had 13 and Brey Dorsett had 10 for the Spartans, who tied it on a Dorsett 3-pointer with a minute left but saw the Bulldogs win it at the free throw line. Amanda Leigh's potential tying 3 missed at the buzzer.
• UNCG put four players in double figures in the loss at Chattanooga on Saturday but couldn't overcome an early deficit in falling to the Lady Mocs. Saturday's game was the first this season in which UNCG had fewer turnovers than its opponent and still lost the game. The Spartans had a season-low seven turnovers, while the Lady Mocs had 10
• Monique Floyd leads UNCG in scoring and rebounding at 13.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per contest. Leigh is second in scoring at 12.9 points , while freshman Janae' Stevenson, who has led UNCG in rebounding for most of the season, is now second at 6.2 per contest.
• Floyd was named the SoCon Player of the Month for December, as announced by the league office Thursday. The Fairmont, N.C., senior averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in the month, leading the Spartans to a 5-1 record and first place in the SoCon standings.
• Despite its loss Saturday, Samford has also been one of the hottest teams in the SoCon. The Bulldogs had won 11 of 12 prior to Saturday, rebounding nicely after opening the season 0-2. The Bulldogs' two conference losses were by a combined six points, as they fell at Georgia Southern 67-66 on Dec. 20 and to Elon on Saturday, 47-42.
• Hill and Hannah Dawson had 10 points each vs. Elon, while Hill added 14 boards. The Bulldogs shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and a miserable 17.2 percent from 3-point range, well below their league-leading 41.4 percent average entering the contest.
• Emily London leads Samford with 14.6 points per game, while Hill is second at 12.3 and leads the Bulldogs with 5.9 rebounds per contest.
• The Bulldogs lead the SoCon in several categories, including: scoring defense (55.6 ppg), free throw percentage (.758), 3-point percentage (.392), 3-point defense (.284), 3-pointers per game (8.3), rebounding defense (32.7 rpg), defensive rebounding percentage (.699) and turnover margin (+2.20).
- UNCG -