December 16, 2012
Second Half Rally Falls Short For Men’s Basketball At James Madison
BOX SCORE (PDF)
HARRISONBURG, Va. – The UNCG men's basketball team rallied from a 20-point halftime hole and cut the deficit to three points twice in the second half, but the Spartans suffered an 85-73 non-conference loss to James Madison Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
"Our effort out of the gate wasn't where it needed to be and James Madison's was, that was the difference in the game," head coach Wes Miller
said. "Out of the half, our guys responded how I would expect them to being down 20 points. We made some adjustments at halftime and our guys executed those well, but we dug ourselves into too deep a hole with our play in the first half."
The Spartans connected on just 25.8 percent (8-of-31) from the field and 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from three-point land in the first half as they were out-scored 49-29. Conversely, UNCG held the edge in the second half 44-36 as it hit 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from the field and 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from long range as the Spartans tried to overcome the 20-point deficit.
Junior Trevis Simpson
(Douglas, Ga./Coffee) led all scorers with 24 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Simpson connected on 8-of-19 from the field, including three three-pointers. Sophomore Nicholas Paulos
(Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) added a season-high 15 points off the bench as he 5-of-6 from three-point land in the loss.
James Madison connected on 56.6 percent (30-of-53) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from long range on the game. The Dukes forced UNCG into 15 turnovers and capitalized those miscues into 21 points. Rayshawn Goins posted a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds while Devon Moore added 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the victory.
The Spartans and Dukes traded baskets during the early going of the first half with UNCG trailing 11-9 at the 13:51 mark. The Spartans got the to free throw line early as seven of their first nine points came from the charity stripe, including the first four points of the game for UNCG from fifth-year senior Kelvin McNeil
(Newport News, Va./Delaware).
James Madison broke the half open as it started firing on all cylinders offensively, posting a 15-3 run to take a 26-12 lead on its way to a 49-29 halftime lead. The Dukes connected on 56.3 percent (18-of-32) from the field and hit 6-of-12 (50%) from three-point land in the first half. Conversely, the short-handed Spartans were held to just 25.8 percent (8-of-31) shooting from the field and just 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from long range.
UNCG also committed 11 first half turnovers, which led to 18 points for the Dukes. Goins led all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from the free throw line. McNeil and Simpson paced the Spartans with six points apiece in the opening frame while UNCG battled through foul trouble for the depleted lineup. The Spartans only dressed nine scholarship players in the game and had three players with two first half fouls and one player with three first half fouls to limit their success.
UNCG came out of the halftime break and quickly turned the momentum as it scored the first five points of the half on its way to a 17-3 run that trimmed the deficit to 52-46 just 5:33 into the second half. Simpson was the catalyst with nine points during the spurt while Paulos also started to heat up as he combined with Simpson on back-to-back three-pointers forcing JMU into its second timeout of the half.
James Madison slowed the UNCG charge momentarily as it scored on consecutive possessions to run the lead back to double figures. The Spartans kept pace though with a 9-4 run to pull back within five as Paulos hit a pair of three-pointers surrounding a Simpson long-range shot.
UNCG made it a one-possession game at the 7:05 mark of the half as junior Drew Parker
(Houston, Texas/La Porte) scored on a drive to make it a 64-61 contest. The Spartans were able to keep it a one possession game when Simpson hit a jumper with 6:23 left, but James Madison scored four straight points to pad the lead before closing out the game at the free throw line where it hit 12 of its final 16 from the line to improve to 4-6 on the year.
UNCG out-rebounded the Dukes by a 40-32 margin, including 18 offensive rebounds in the loss as they scored 18 second-chance points. McNeil grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and added eight points while David Williams
(Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) chipped in six points and nine rebounds.
The Spartans continue their two-game road swing Wednesday night as they travel across North Carolina to face UNCW at 7 p.m.
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