Spartans host Bulldogs for final home game of season
UNCG (13-13, 10-8 SoCon) vs. Samford (21-7, 14-5 SoCon), Feb. 21, 3 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium
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• UNCG will host second-place Samford in its final home game of the season Monday as it tries to jockey for position in a close Southern Conference race.
• The Spartans enter play Monday alone in fifth place in the league standings at 13-13 overall and 10-8 in the SoCon. If the season ended today, UNCG would get a first-round bye at the upcoming SoCon Championship. At 21-7 overall and 14-5 in the SoCon, Samford locked up the No. 2 seed with its win over Elon on Saturday.
• UNCG is in the midst of a brutal stretch to end the season, as it faces Chattanooga, Samford and first-place Appalachian State to end the regular season. The Spartans lost to Chattanooga on Saturday, 65-53.
• The Lady Mocs played spoiler on the Spartans' Senior Day, winning their 11th straight over UNCG on Saturday. Junior Sarah Folwell scored a season-high 10 points to lead UNCG, which honored junior Agneta Morkunaite, who will graduate a year early, and seniors Amanda Leigh, Monique Floyd and Kendra Smith prior to the game.
• Leigh is the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week after a career-high 30-point effort against College of Charleston on Feb. 12. She also scored 12 points in a win over Elon on Feb. 10. For the week, Leigh averaged 21.0 points per game and shot an impressive 54.2 percent from the field and was 9-for-17 from 3-point range, good for 52.9 percent.
• Leigh's 30-point performance against CofC marked UNCG's first 30-point game since Brianne Dodgen had 32 against Chattanooga on March 2, 2000.
• Floyd, a senior guard, scored her 1,000th career point in UNCG's loss at Furman on Jan. 31. She now needs just three rebounds to become the only player in UNCG history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 175 steals and 250 assists at the Division I level. She currently has 1,074 points, 497 rebounds, 183 steals and 277 assists.
• Samford is 4-2 against the Spartans all-time. The teams have split in the regular season in each of the Bulldogs' first two seasons in the league, with each team winning on its home floor. Samford took a 66-46 win in this season's first meeting, which was delayed a day by snow and ice in the Birmingham, Ala., area. The 20-point margin was the largest for either side in the brief history of the series.
• Samford's Emily London scored 26 points and UNCG shot just 18.2 percent in the first half to fall behind big as the Bulldogs took this season's first meeting on Jan. 11. Smith scored a team-best 11 points for UNCG, while Floyd and Dayshaun Richbow had seven points each.
• Floyd leads UNCG in scoring with 13.9 points per game, while freshman Janae' Stevenson leads the team in rebounding with 6.4 per game and blocks a team-best 1.4 shots per game. Leigh is UNCG's second-leading scorer at 12.0 points per game, while Richbow leads the team with 3.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
• Several Spartans are making moves in the UNCG record book. Smith is 10th on the career blocked shots list with 46, while Stevenson is sixth in single-season blocked shots with 34. Floyd is ninth in school history in career steals with 183. Leigh is third in school history with 167 3-pointers and needs just three to move into second place.
• UNCG needs a win over Samford to avoid its fourth straight non-winning season at Fleming Gym. The Spartans had losing records at home in 2007-08 and last season and were 7-7 at Fleming in 2008-09.
• Samford picked up an 83-80 win over Elon on Saturday, with Emily London scoring 33 points and the Bulldogs surviving the Phoenix's last-minute rally. Ruth Ketcham had 17 points and Savannah Hill added 12.
• London, the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year, became Samford's all-time leading scorer earlier this season.
• The Bulldogs lead the SoCon in scoring defense (56.0), free throw percentage (77.5), 3-point field goal percentage (40.8), 3-point field goal defense (26.5), rebounding defense (32.8) and 3-point field goals made per game (8.5). Samford is third in the nation in 3-pointers per game. London leads the nation in free throw percentage (94.3).
• The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. Samford was ranked in the poll for several weeks this season.
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