Brackett, Spartans break through for first win, 75-74
BOONE, N.C. – Junior Aaron Brackett recorded a career- and game-high 28 points, while also bringing down a career-high 15 rebounds, as UNCG held on late to defeat Appalachian State, 75-74, to record its first win of the season on Thursday night in the Holmes Center.
In addition to his 28 points, Brackett shot an incredible 14-20 from the field for the Spartans (1-15, 1-5 Southern Conference). UNCG also received 18 points from senior Brandon Evans, with 10 of those coming in the opening half. Brian Cole was in double figures for the Spartans, as well, as he scored 10 points.
The Mountaineers (7-8, 3-2 SoCon) were led by SoCon preseason Player of the Year Donald Sims who scored a team-high 25 points on 10-19 shooting. Omar Carter was right behind Sims with 19 points and nine rebounds. Andrew Williamson had the lone double-double for the home team with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought Aaron was really, really aggressive and had a great game," said head coach Mike Dement. "He did a good job of looking for his shot and knocking it down. He went down to the offensive glass great."
A jumper by Brackett with 1:51 left in the second half extended the Spartan lead to 75-72. After Sims missed a 3-pointer for the Mountaineers, Carter came up with a steal and a fastbreak layup on the other end to make it a 75-74 contest with 65 seconds remaining.
After Cole missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the shot clock was winding down with 30 seconds remaining, the ball went into the corner where it was touched by a Mountaineer to keep possession with UNCG.
On the ensuing inbounds, the Mountaineers deflected it into the other corner of the Spartan end. On that inbounds, the Spartans turned it over with just 24 seconds remaining to give Appalachian State another chance.
On that possession, Carter drove hard to the rim with 12 seconds left, but David Williams blocked the shot and forced a jump ball. With the possession arrow in the Mountaineers' favor, they inbounded the ball and Carter missed a jumper with eight seconds remaining as Brackett hauled down his 15th and final rebound.
Brackett missed the front end of his one and one, which fell into the arms of Andre Williamson. Williamson quickly gave it to Sims, but Sims' desperation half-court heave at the buzzer was only able to draw iron as the Spartans left victorious.
In the opening half, the Spartans found themselves trailing 26-18 with 6:55 left before halftime. UNCG then mounted a 10-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to tie the game at 28 at the four-minute media timeout.
The Mountaineers responded immediately though and went on a 13-0 run before the half to make it a 41-28 at the break.
The Spartans came storming out of the gate in the second half as they used a 9-0 run, capped off by a Trevis Simpson 3-pointer in the corner, to cut the ASU lead to 41-37. UNCG made it a 15-3 run to start the half to make it a one-point game at 46-45 on a layup by Evans.
UNCG wasn't able to take the lead in the second half until the 8:13 mark on a layup by Evans to give the Spartans a 61-59 advantage.
For the game, UNCG shot 42.6 percent from the field, including a 54.5 percent clip after halftime.
UNCG also outrebounded the Mountaineers 44-38 on the night, with 15 of those being offensive rebounds.
"The guys are really excited, glad to see them excited," said Dement. "We hadn't had a chance to experience that and I'm glad to see them have a chance to experience that."
"It feels good to win," Dement added.
The Spartans will return home on Monday as they host Davidson at 7 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum.
UNCG 75, Appalachian State 74
UNCG (1-15, 1-5 SoCon)
BRACKETT, Aaron 14-20 0-2 28; EVANS, Brandon 5-12 6-6 18; COLE, Brian 4-11 0-0 10; HENRY, Aloysius 2-3 3-6 7; SIMPSON, Trevis 2-4 0-0 6; HENEGAR, Cody 1-2 0-0 2; PARKER, Drew 1-3 0-0 2; VAN DUSSEN, Korey 0-6 1-2 1; WILLIAMS, David 0-0 1-2 1; RANDALL, Kyle 0-7 0-0 0. Totals 29-68 11-18 75.
APPALACHIAN STATE (7-8, 3-2 SoCon)
SIMS, Donald 10-19 0-2 25; CARTER, Omar 7-16 3-3 19; WILLIAMSON, Andre 4-5 3-6 11; BOOTH, Jeremi 2-6 0-0 6; HEALY, Nathan 2-4 2-2 6; HAUSLEY, Petey 1-3 2-2 4; WOODS, Mitch 1-6 1-2 3; WRIGHT, Marcus 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 11-17 74.
UNCG.......................... 28 47 - 75
Appalachian State............. 41 33 - 74
3-point goals--UNCG 6-21 (SIMPSON, Trevis 2-3; COLE, Brian 2-6; EVANS, Brandon 2-4; PARKER, Drew 0-2; VAN DUSSEN, Korey 0-3; RANDALL, Kyle 0-2; HENEGAR, Cody 0-1), Appalachian State 9-23 (SIMS, Donald 5-11; CARTER, Omar 2-5; BOOTH, Jeremi 2-5; WRIGHT, Marcus 0-1; HEALY, Nathan 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Appalachian State-None. Rebounds--UNCG 44 (BRACKETT, Aaron 15), Appalachian State 38 (WILLIAMSON, Andre 10). Assists--UNCG 11 (RANDALL, Kyle 4), Appalachian State 11 (WOODS, Mitch 5). Total fouls--UNCG 19, Appalachian State 16. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Appalachian State-None. A-2152
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