Spartans make short trip to rival Elon for crucial SoCon rematch
UNCG (11-12, 8-7 SoCon) at Elon (15-8, 9-5 SoCon), Feb. 10, 7 p.m., Alumni Gym
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via ElonPhoenix.com)
Audio: WSOE 89.3 FM (available online)
Video: UStream (free, via ElonPhoenix.com)
• UNCG will look to avenge a last-second January loss and gain some ground in the Southern Conference race when it hits the road to face rival Elon on Thursday.
• Elon grabbed a 63-61 win over UNCG at the buzzer on Jan. 19, getting an Ali Ford layup as time expired to escape Greensboro with the victory. The teams entered that contest tied atop the SoCon standings at 6-2, but since then, the Phoenix has fallen to third, while the Spartans have dropped to fifth.
• UNCG coach Lynne Agee picked up her 600th career win Monday, becoming just the 14th active Division I coach to reach the milestone. She is now 600-330 in her 33-year career.
• The Spartans downed Western Carolina 57-53 on Monday, surviving the Catamounts' second-half rally and coming up with some clutch play in the closing seconds to complete the season sweep of Western. After WCU tied the game with 12 seconds left, UNCG's Monique Floyd brought the ball up the floor and laid it in with 3.3 seconds left. Dayshaun Richbow then stole the inbounds pass and dropped in a layup of her own to nail down the thrilling win.
• Floyd, a senior guard, scored her 1,000th career point in UNCG's loss at Furman last week. Her next milestone will likely come in the rebounding department, as she is just 22 shy of 500 for her career.
• UNCG brings an 11-12 overall record and an 8-7 Southern Conference mark into Thursday's contest. The Spartans are tied for fifth with Georgia Southern in the SoCon standings, but have lost seven of their last 10 after a six-game winning streak. UNCG is 3-7 in the SoCon since starting 5-0.
• UNCG failed to put a player in double figures in the win over Western Carolina, marking the second time in the last three contests (Furman, Jan. 31) that has been the case. Before then, UNCG went nearly a year without failing to have a player score at least 10. The last occasion prior to this season was on Feb. 20, 2010, at Appalachian State.
• UNCG's 11 wins this season surpass the Spartans' total from all of last season. With at least six games left on the schedule (and perhaps more, depending on how UNCG fares at the SoCon Championship), the Spartans are seeking their first winning season since going 20-10 in 2006-07.
• UNCG leads the series with Elon, 22-15. The Spartans swept the Phoenix last season, but with Elon's win in this season's first meeting, the teams are 3-3 against each in the last six.
• Floyd leads UNCG in scoring (14.4 points per game), rebounding (6.0 per contest) and assists (3.1 per game). Redshirt senior Amanda Leigh is UNCG's second-leading scorer at 11.3 points per game, while Richbow leads the team with 2.3 steals per game. Freshman Janae' Stevenson blocks a team-best 1.4 shots per game.
• Several Spartans are making moves in the UNCG record book. Kendra Smith is 10th on the career blocked shots list with 46, while Stevenson is tied for sixth in single-season blocked shots with 30. Floyd is ninth in school history in career steals with 178. Leigh is third in school history with 158 3-pointers.
• After a string of nine wins in 10 games, Elon has dropped its last two contests, by a combined six points. The Phoenix fell 69-65 at Davidson on Jan. 31 then succumbed at Georgia Southern in overtime on Monday, 71-69. Still, the Phoenix is 15-8 overall and 9-5 in SoCon play. Elon is 9-2 at home this season, but both losses have come in league play (Western and SoCon-leading Appalachian State).
• Elon erased a 10-point second half deficit to force overtime on Monday, but Julie Taylor's potential game-winning 3-pointer ricocheted off the rim as time expired as the Phoenix dropped its second straight. Ford scored a season- and game-high 26 points in the losing effort, while Kelsey Evans added 15 and Taylor 10.
• Ford leads Elon and is third in the SoCon with 16.8 points per game, while Evans is also in double figures at 12.2 points per game. Evans nearly averages a double-double, as she paces the SoCon with 9.2 rebounds per contest. Ford is second in the league with 2.7 3-pointers per game and Evans is second with 2.3 blocked shots per game.
• Ford has led Elon in scoring in 14 games this season and has scored at least 20 points seven times.
• Elon leads the league and is eighth nationally with 5.7 blocked shots per game.
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