Short-handed Spartans stun Charleston, take control of SoCon North with 78-63 win
For video of UNCG's post-game press conference, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Aloysius Henry scored a season-high 22 points, Derrell Armstrong scored a career-high 30 and short-handed UNCG rallied from an early second-half deficit for a 78-63 Southern Conference win over College of Charleston, Wednesday at Greensboro Coliseum.
With Elon's loss at Wofford, UNCG (12-15 overall, 10-5 SoCon) now holds a two-game lead in the north division with three games remaining.
Playing without injured guard and Southern Conference leading scorer Trevis Simpson, the Spartans took control early, led by a point at halftime, fell behind early in the second half and then rallied for a somewhat improbable win behind arguably UNCG's best defensive effort of the season.
The Spartans had to fight back to win this one. Trailing by one, the Cougars (16-11, 8-8) opened the second half with a 9-2 run and grabbed a 39-33 lead on an Antwaine Wiggins layup with 16:25 left.
After interim head coach Wes Miller called timeout, Henry sparked a 16-1 run which helped the Spartans take control of the game. Henry started the run with a 3-pointer – his second of the year – and took a charge on the other end of the floor on Charleston's ensuing possession.
A trey by Nicholas Paulos tied the game at 39-39, then Henry got a fast-break dunk and an 18-foot jumper for a 43-39 lead with 14:31 left.
After Kyle Randall made one-of-two free throws and Wiggins made one freebie for the Cougars, Henry hit another dunk and Armstrong drained a three for a 49-40 lead with 12:06 left. Charleston never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
The lead swelled to as many as 16 points when a pair of Korey Van Dussen free throws made it 74-58 with 1:31 to go.
It didn't take long for the Spartans to take control in the first half. A 7-0 spurt midway through the half – highlighted by Taylor Hoffer's steal and two-handed slam – put the Spartans up 19-12 with 9:03 left. Armstrong followed with a layup to make it 21-12.
Charleston quickly erased the deficit by scoring the next nine points, but UNCG wasted no time in pushing the lead to 29-23 on an Armstrong layup with 4:10 left in the half. The Spartans led 31-30 at halftime.
Armstrong finished the game 12-of-22 from the field, including four three-pointers. Henry was 9-of-13 shooting, 3-of-4 from the line and added six rebounds in 19 minutes. He scored 20 points in the second half.
Randall added 12 points and six assists off the bench for UNCG.
Trent Weideman led Charleston with 21 points and 18 rebounds.
UNCG shot 48 percent for the game while limiting Charleston to 36 percent shooting. UNCG forced the Cougars into 22 turnovers and 5-of-25 shooting from 3-point range.
The Spartans return to action when they face Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m., Saturday in Statesboro, Ga.