Men's Basketball Concludes Mountain Road Swing Monday At Appalachian State
BOONE, N.C. – The UNCG men's basketball team wraps up its two-game road swing through the mountains of North Carolina Monday night as the Spartans take on Southern Conference foe Appalachian State at 7 p.m. at the Holmes Center. The game will mark the Spartans' final road game in the month of January as they have five straight home games at the Greensboro Coliseum following the contest.
Monday's game will be broadcast on 1320 WCOG AM and online at www.uncgspartans.com with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak providing the call.
Monday's game marks the 39th meeting all-time between UNCG and Appalachian State. The Spartans trail the evenly matched series by a slim 18-20 margin, but have won three out of the last five meetings, including taking two out of three last year. The two teams split the regular season series last year with the home team posting victories as Appalachian State recorded a 78-64 victory Dec. 1 and UNCG tallied a 77-73 overtime win Jan. 26. The Spartans ended the Mountaineers' season with a 65-55 victory in the SoCon Tournament in Asheville.
Junior guard Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) led the Spartans last season against ASU as he averaged 19.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in the three contests. Senior guard Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany CC) averaged 16.0 points per game last year, while Taylor Hoffer (Poulsbo, Wash./Poulsbo) posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Spartans' victory at home.
Simpson leads the team and the SoCon this season in scoring at 18.0 points per game. He missed the last game due to a concussion. He is day-to-day and will be a game time decision Monday. He has missed two out of the last four games UNCG has played due to injury and the two games he played are the only two in which he failed to reach double figures in scoring. Prior to his injuries, Simpson was averaging 20.3 points per game through the first 10 games of the year.
Armstrong is second on the team and ranks third in the league in scoring at 16.6 points per game. He is coming off his second 25-point effort of the season as he reached the quarter mark Saturday at Western Carolina, including scoring 19 second half points. He also had the potential game-tying three-pointer hit the back of the rim at the buzzer as UNCG fell to 1-2 in league play this year.
Freshman forward Kayel Locke (Owings Mill, Md./McDonogh) rounds out the Spartans in double figures scoring as he averages 11.1 points per game and made his first career start Saturday against the Catamounts. Sophomore Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) also made his first career start against Western Carolina and scored 10 points to follow-up his career-high 26 points against Lees-McRae.
Appalachian State enters the game as one of the hottest teams in the SoCon, winners of four straight games against Presbyterian, Milligan, Wofford and most recently Elon. The Mountaineers are third in the SoCon North Division with a 2-1 record and have posted a 4-2 record at home this year.
Appalachian State is led by redshirt sophomore and Xavier transfer Jay Canty who leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Canty also ranks second on the glass with 6.1 rebounds per game and leads the team with 39 assists. Forward Nathan Healy is second on the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game and leads the team on the boards grabbing 6.8 caroms per game. Healy is also second on the team in three-pointers made with 23 and is shooting 45.1 percent from distance.
Tab Hamilton rounds out the Mountaineers in double figures scoring as he averages 10.3 points per game and has hit a team-high 25 three-pointers. Mike Neal chips in 9.2 points per game and is working his way back into the lineup after missing the first eight games of the season due to academics.
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