For head coach Mike Dement's post-game comments, click here
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Trevis Simpson scored a game-high 22 points to lead UNCG to a 71-58 win over UNC Pembroke, Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum in the Spartans' home opener.
Simpson scored 17 points in the second half as the Spartans (1-2) pulled away from the Braves after a nip-and-tuck first half. The sophomore swingman tied a career-high with four three-pointers and was perfect on all six of his free throw attempts.
Leading 31-27 at the start of the second half, the Spartans extended their lead to 36-30 before the Braves (2-2) pulled to within 36-33 on a free throw by Mike Robinson with 15:55 left. But UNCP never got any closer.
Simpson started a 10-0 run with a three-pointer and Alyosius Henry followed with an alley-oop dunk to give UNCG a 41-33 lead. A trey by Nick Paulos and a jumper by Kyle Randall gave the Spartans a 46-33 advantage with 12:40 left.
After the Braves cut the lead to six points at 51-45, the Spartans again used another big run (13-3) to take complete control of the game. Henry capped the run with his second dunk of the night, giving UNCG a 64-48 lead with 5:20 remaining.
In the first half, UNCG struggled to gain control of the contest. The Spartans opened as much as a five-point lead early in the first half, taking a 10-5 advantage on a Randall jumper with 15:05 left before halftime. But UNCG could never quite pull away or build a bigger lead.
In fact, the Braves actually enjoyed three leads in the final seven minutes, but none of more than two points.
UNCG regained the lead for good when a Derrell Armstrong jumper made it 28-27 with 1:41 left in the half. Simpson nailed a three-pointer for a 31-27 lead with 30 seconds left, which was also the halftime score.
The Spartans shot just 41 percent for the game, but went 8-of-19 (42 percent) from three-point range. UNCG had made just seven three-pointers in its first two games of the season. The Spartans also owned a 36-26 rebounding advantage.
UNCG added 13 assists and was 13-of-16 from the free throw line.
Randall added 12 points and five assists for the Spartans. In all, nine of the 12 Spartans who saw action scored at least two points.
Pembroke was led by Shahmel Brackett's 17 points.
The Spartans next face Middle Tennessee in the Mainland Regional of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, 6:00 p.m., Saturday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.