DAVIDSON, N.C. – The UNCG men's basketball team suffered its first Southern Conference loss of the season Saturday as the Spartans dropped an 85-53 decision to preseason favorite and reigning league champion Davidson at Belk Arena. The loss drops the Spartans to 1-1 in SoCon play while the Wildcats improve to 3-0 in the league.
UNCG connected on just 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the field in the loss while Davidson hit 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the field and connected on 85.2 percent (23-of-27) from the free throw line. The Spartans were also out-rebounded by a 54-24 margin as the Wildcats grabbed 21 offensive rebounds which led to 28 second-chance points.
Senior guard Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany) was the only Spartan to score in double figures as he finished with 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Davidson had five players scored in double figures with Jake Cohen leading the way with a game-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
Davidson came out quickly, scoring the first eight points of the game on its way to an early 12-2 lead over the Spartans. UNCG started cold shooting from the field as it missed its first seven shots from the field and did not make a field goal until the 15:03 mark of the half when junior David Williams (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) scored in the paint to make it 12-4.
The Spartans narrowed the gap to 18-11 as Williams scored six straight points, including his second three-pointer of the year. Davidson answered back with a 9-2 run to extend the lead to 27-13 as Cohen hit a three-pointer before the Wildcats started heading to the line frequently.
Davidson went into the locker room holding a 45-27 lead as the Wildcats took advantage of the Spartans falling into foul trouble with four players picking up two first half fouls, including a pair of post players with three first half infractions. The Wildcats went to the free throw line 17 times in the opening half, connecting on 82.3 percent from the charity stripe. Davidson connected on 46.4 percent (13-of-28) from the field in the first half with Cohen leading the way with 15 points.
UNCG was held to 30.8 percent (8-of-26) shooting from the field but did hit 4-of-7 three-pointers. Williams led the Spartans with eight points while junior Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) was limited to five first half points. The Spartans were also out-rebounded by a 26-10 margin in the opening frame.
Davidson came out of the halftime break and extended its lead with a 21-7 run, including 11 straight points to cap the stretch to go in front 66-34. Cohen started the 11 straight points with an old-fashioned three-point play before Tyler Kalinoski and Nik Cochran hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the run into overdrive.
Williams finished with eight points in the loss to tie his season-high while Simpson was held to just seven points. It marked the first time this season that he has not reached double figures and the first time since also scoring seven points against Middle Tennessee last year (11/19/11).
The Wildcats would attempt 30 three-pointers in the victory, connected on eight but finished with a 27-16 edge in free throw attempts. De'Mon Brooks scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Cochran added 12 points and four assists.
The Spartans close out non-conference play Wednesday evening as they host Lees-McRae at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
- UNCG -