UNCG to host league-leading App State on Saturday
UNCG (9-8, 6-3 SoCon) vs. Appalachian State (13-4, 7-2 SoCon), Jan. 22, 2 p.m., Fleming Gym
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• UNCG completes the first half of Southern Conference play when it hosts league-leading Appalachian State on Saturday at Fleming Gymnasium at 2 p.m.
• The Mountaineers bring a 7-2 league mark into Saturday's contest and are tied atop the SoCon standings with Elon. UNCG is third at 6-3 in conference action and out of first place for the first time this season after opening the SoCon slate 5-0.
• The Spartans dropped a thriller to Elon on Wednesday, 63-61. UNCG only trailed for a fraction of a second in the second half, but that was enough as the Phoenix got a layup to fall at the buzzer to escape with the win. Monique Floyd scored a team-high 13 points in the loss, while Dayshaun Richbow, who hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 44 seconds left only to see the Phoenix counter on the other end, finished with 11. The teams came into the contest tied for first in the league with App State.
• UNCG leads the series with Appalachian State 28-25, but App has won four of the last six. The squads split in 2007-08 and 2008-09 before the Mountaineers swept two meetings last season. The Apps won last year's games by 16.5 points per game, taking the meeting in Greensboro 72-57 and the contest in Boone, N.C., 67-49.
• The Spartans didn't put a player in double figures the last time the teams met, on Feb. 20, 2010. Monique Floyd had a team-best nine points as UNCG shot just 26.5 percent in the second half and lost its 10th straight. Thomasville, N.C., native Anna Freeman scored a game-high 18 points to go with 12 rebounds for App, while Sam Ramirez had 16 points and Ashlen Dewart 11.
• Floyd leads UNCG in scoring and rebounding at 13.5 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per contest, while Amanda Leigh is second in scoring at 11.4 points. Freshman Janae' Stevenson is second in rebounding at 6.1 per game. Floyd, who leads the SoCon with a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, dishes off a team-best 3.3 assists per game. Richbow leads UNCG with 2.1 steals per game.
• Several Spartans are making moves in the UNCG record book. With a blocked shot at College of Charleston on Jan. 15, Kendra Smith moved into a tie for 10th on the career blocked shots list with 43. With three against Elon on Wednesday, Stevenson moved into a tie for 14th in single-season blocked shots with 21. Floyd is just three steals from moving into the top 10 for her career, as she currently has 165.
• Floyd was named the SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week on Wednesday. The senior leisure services management major owns a 3.79 grade point average and scored 18 points in a 50-45 win over College of Charleston in the Spartans' lone game of the week, on Jan. 15.
• Appalachian State, which is off to a terrific start to the season at 13-4 overall, is far and away the highest-scoring team in the SoCon at 76.8 points per game and is outscoring its competition by 12.1 points per game, also the best mark in the league. The Mountaineers have turned in three games of 98 points or more this season, scoring an even 100 in a 33-point rout of current SoCon co-leader Elon on Nov. 29.
• The Mountaineers are ranked 15th in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll, a position they have held for the last three weeks. They are the only SoCon team in the poll this week.
• ASU, under the direction of reigning SoCon Coach of the Year Darcie Vincent, won the inaugural Women's Basketball Invitational last season, topping Memphis in the title game, 79-71.
• The Apps have had four SoCon Players of the Week this season, with Ramirez and Dewart taking the award in consecutive weeks twice, including the last two. Ramirez was the league's player of the month for November.
• Appalachian State dropped Davidson on Wednesday, 83-66. The Mountaineers had five players in double figures, with Ramirez leading the way with 24 points and six 3-pointers.
• Dewart leads ASU in scoring and rebounding on the season with 17.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Ramirez is just behind her in scoring with 17.1 points per game, putting Dewart and Ramirez 2-3 in the league in scoring. Freeman is just off Dewart's rebounding pace at 6.2 per contest and leads the team with 4.2 assists per game, while Ramirez paces the SoCon with 2.6 steals per game. Dewart shoots a SoCon-best 57.8 percent from the field.
• App leads the SoCon in several categories, including field goal percentage (.469), field goal percentage defense (.375), rebounding offense (42.1), rebounding margin (+6.6), assists (18.9), steals (13.2), turnover margin (+2.18), defensive rebounds (28.0) and offensive rebound percentage (.377).
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