For video of coach Mike Dement's postgame comments, click here.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Coming off a heartbreaking double overtime loss at Chattanooga, UNCG came out on fire and built a commanding lead in the early going before having to hold off a second-half run as the Spartans defeated Samford, 91-72, on Saturday afternoon in the Pete Hanna Center.
The Spartans (4-16, 4-6 Southern Conference), who led from wire-to-wire, were led by Brandon Evans who posted a game-high 26 points, including an 11-for-12 mark at the free throw line. Trevis Simpson also had a nice afternoon for UNCG as he scored 22 points on 6-9 shooting.
John Peterson led the Bulldogs (11-11, 3-7 SoCon) with 16 points, while Gregg Wooten and Drew Windler each chipped in a dozen points.
It was the Evans and Simpson show in the early going as the duo got UNCG out to an early 17-9 lead. Evans got things started as he scored the game's first five points. Then with the game tied a six, Simpson hit his first trey from the left wing. After a Samford 3 and a Van Dussen layup, Simpson hit back-to-back 3s to force a Bulldog timeout.
The Bulldogs fought to cut the UNCG lead to 17-14, but the Spartans responded with an 11-0 run to break things open and take a commanding 28-14 lead on a fastbreak layup by Aaron Brackett.
The Spartans would continue to tack onto their lead as a jumper by Evans with 3:15 before halftime gave UNCG its largest lead of the half at 37-17.
Coming out of the locker room with a 42-23 advantage, the Spartans looked to build upon that as they went on a 6-0 run in the opening minute and a half to take a 25-point lead, their largest of the contest.
Samford continued to battle, though, and made things interesting about midway through the second half. With the Spartans holding onto a 54-36 advantage with 12:54 remaining, the Bulldogs went on a 14-3 run, led by seven points from Peterson, to close the Spartan lead to seven points at 57-50.
The Bulldogs would cut it down to six just a minute later, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the game as UNCG would salt away the game at the free throw line.
The final field goal for the Spartans came at the 3:12 mark on the 3-pointer by Randall to make the score 74-60. UNCG would go 17-19 from the charity stripe in the final minutes as the Spartans would go on to make the final, 91-72.
For the game, UNCG went 31-35 from the free throw line. It was the most free throws made for the Spartans since Jan. 9 of last season in an 88-78 win.
UNCG shot over 50 percent from the field for just the fourth time this season as the Spartans went 24-46 for 52.2 percent. The Spartans shot even better from behind the arc with a 12-22 performance for a 54.5 percent clip.
The Spartans return home on Wednesday as they host Appalachian State at 7 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum.
UNCG 91, Samford 72
UNCG (4-16, 4-6 SoCon)
EVANS, Brandon 6-11 11-12 26; SIMPSON, Trevis 6-9 6-6 22; RANDALL, Kyle 4-11 6-6 17; VAN DUSSEN, Korey 4-8 1-2 11; WILLIAMS, David 2-2 2-2 6; HENRY, Aloysius 1-1 3-4 5; BRACKETT, Aaron 1-4 2-3 4; HENEGAR, Cody 0-0 0-0 0; COLE, Brian 0-0 0-0 0; PARKER, Drew 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-46 31-35 91.
SAMFORD (11-11, 3-7 SoCon)
PETERSON, John 4-7 6-6 16; WOOTEN, Gregg 5-8 2-4 12; WINDLER, Drew 4-6 1-2 12; BERMUDEZ, Gaby 3-5 2-3 8; BEDWELL, Josh 2-7 4-4 8; KING, Andy 3-5 0-0 7; MERRITT, Jeffrey 2-4 0-0 4; DAVIS, Josh 1-4 0-0 3; JOHNSON, Kaylin 0-4 2-2 2; COOK, Will 0-0 0-0 0; FRIDAY, Matthew 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-50 17-21 72.
UNCG.......................... 42 49 - 91
Samford....................... 23 49 - 72
3-point goals--UNCG 12-22 (SIMPSON, Trevis 4-6; RANDALL, Kyle 3-7; EVANS, Brandon 3-5; VAN DUSSEN, Korey 2-4), Samford 7-24 (WINDLER, Drew 3-3; PETERSON, John 2-4; KING, Andy 1-2; DAVIS, Josh 1-4; MERRITT, Jeffrey 0-2; JOHNSON, Kaylin 0-3; BEDWELL, Josh 0-4; BERMUDEZ, Gaby 0-1; WOOTEN, Gregg 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Samford-MERRITT, Jeffrey; WINDLER, Drew. Rebounds--UNCG 30 (BRACKETT, Aaron 6), Samford 23 (BEDWELL, Josh 5). Assists--UNCG 13 (VAN DUSSEN, Korey 4; RANDALL, Kyle 4), Samford 11 (BEDWELL, Josh 4). Total fouls--UNCG 19, Samford 26. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Samford-None. A-1348
- UNCG -