BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UNCG men's basketball team looks to post back-to-back road wins for the first time this season Saturday night as the Spartans travel to Southern Conference North Division foe Samford. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (ET) at the Pete Hanna Center and can be heard on 1320 WCOG AM and online at www.uncgspartans.com.
The Spartans are coming off a dominating performance Thursday night, posting a 94-68 victory at Chattanooga. During that game, UNCG connected on a program-record 20 three-pointers in the victory with sophomore forward Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) leading the way. The 20 three-pointers made are the most by any team this season in NCAA Division I and two more than the second-best performance this year by LaSalle (18).
Paulos hit a single-game record 10 three-pointers as he was 10-of-12 (83.3%) from long range off the bench, scoring a career-high 30 points in just 21 minutes of action. His 10 three-pointers are the most for any player off the bench in an NCAA Division I game this season. He surpassed the previous record of nine which he held along with current director of basketball operations Kevin Oleksiak.
Additionally, the Spartans dished out a season-high 27 assists on 34 baskets as five different players scored in double figures. The 27 assists are the most for UNCG against an NCAA Division I team in program history and just four shy of the program record of 31 set against Bridgewater. Junior guard Drew Parker (Houston, Texas/La Porte) dished out a season-high seven assists in his first game of the season off the bench.
UNCG enters Saturday's game with a 8-18 overall record and a 6-9 mark in SoCon play. The Spartans are led by junior guard Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) who averages a team-high and a conference-best 19.0 points per game. Simpson ranks 27th in the country in scoring and has scored in double figures 21 times this year. Senior guard Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsville, Md./Allegany CC) is second on the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game.
Freshman forward Kayel Locke (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) rounds out the Spartans averaging double figures at 10.2 points per game. Paulos leads the team with 56 three-pointers and ranks third in the SoCon connecting on 44.1 percent from distance.
Saturday's game marks the 12th meeting all-time between UNCG and Samford. The Spartans trail the all-time series by a 6-5 margin but have won four straight against the Bulldogs. The past three meetings have been hotly contested with the Spartans posting three wins by a combined five points. Last season, UNCG recorded a season-series sweep with a 61-60 victory at home and a 71-69 victory on the road.
Earlier this season, UNCG picked up a strong 66-64 victory against then SoCon North Division leading Samford at the Greensboro Coliseum. Simpson was the highlight of the show as he scored 30 points, including 22 of the Spartans' 27 second half points in the victory. He scored the final 14 points of the game over the last eight minutes for the Spartans to secure the victory. Samford was led by Tim Williams who scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the loss.
Samford enters Saturday's game with a 10-18 mark overall and an 8-7 record in league play. The Bulldogs have won three out of their last five with wins over The Citadel, Wofford and Furman while dropping an overtime contest to Chattanooga and a one-point loss Thursday night to North Division-leading Elon at home.
Guard Raijon Kelly leads Samford in scoring at 14.4 points per game, while playing 36.8 minutes per contest. Kelly has dished out a team-high 134 assists and has hit 56 three-pointers. Williams is second on the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game while grabbing 7.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting 53.8 percent from the field.
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