UNCG at San Diego Surf 'N Slam Classic, Dec. 28-29, San Diego, Calif.
UNCG (2-8) at San Diego State (6-4), Dec. 28, 2 p.m. Pacific time (5 p.m. Eastern)
UNCG vs. Penn (6-2), Dec. 29, 2 p.m. Pacific time (5 p.m. Eastern)
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via GoAztecs.com)
Video: GoAztecs.com (includes audio commentary for SDSU game, free)'
• After a nine-day layoff, UNCG returns to action Wednesday and Thursday at the Surf 'N Slam Classic in San Diego, Calif., where it will wrap up nonconference play against tournament host San Diego State and Penn.
• The California trip begins the back half of UNCG's season-high six-game road swing. The Spartans have already played at Richmond (Dec. 10), Wofford (Dec. 17) and Furman (Dec. 19) and will close out the stretch at Western Carolina on Jan. 7 before finally returning home to host Appalachian State on Jan. 9.
• UNCG will be playing in California for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when the Spartans were in a tournament in Irvine. This year's trip will be just the 43-year-old program's fourth-ever to The Golden State after trips in 1990, 1999 and 2008. UNCG will be playing in San Diego for the first time.
• UNCG has never faced San Diego State or Penn. In fact, the Spartans have barely played anyone from either team's conference. UNCG has played just one game against the Mountain West's current lineup, topping Air Force 64-58 on Nov. 30, 1996, and has faced just one Ivy League opponent, defeating Cornell 70-61 on Jan. 3, 1993.
• The Spartans have lost four straight after winning two out of three. UNCG has fallen to UAB, Richmond, Wofford and Furman, in that order. At Furman on Dec. 19, Janae' Stevenson scored 13 points and Dayshaun Richbow added 10 as the Spartans' second-half rally fell just short in a 53-48 loss. UNCG had a chance at a game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, but Sarah Folwell's attempt was off the mark and the Paladins secured the victory at the free throw line.
• UNCG has played its last two contests without leading scorer and starting point guard Breonna Patterson, who is nursing a foot injury. She leads UNCG with 11.7 points per game and is UNCG's top 3-point shooter by percentage (.364) and makes (eight).
• In her last two games, Stevenson is averaging 14.5 points per game, moving her season average to 8.8, the second-best on the team. Freshman Jarae Savage paces UNCG with 4.8 rebounds per game, while Richbow hands out 3.5 assists per game and grabs 2.1 steals per contest, both team highs.
• Tournament host SDSU is off to a 6-4 start on the season with wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, No. 18 DePaul, Hawaii, Washington, UC Irvine and Cal Poly. The Aztecs won three of their first four games before a three-game losing streak dropped their record to .500 on the season. SDSU has won its last two, topping UC Irvine 76-57 and Cal Poly 79-78.
• Junior Courtney Clements leads the Aztecs and the Mountain West Conference with 18.2 points per game, while classmate Chelsea Hopkins leads the MWC with 5.2 assists per game and the team with 1.7 steals per game. Freshman Chairese Culberson paces SDSU with 6.2 rebounds per game.
• Last time out, Clements surpassed the 20-point mark for the fourth time on the season with 24 in the win over Cal Poly, on Dec. 21. Kiyana Stamps matched her career high with 17 points, while Khristina Hunter added 12 off the bench. With the Aztecs up one and the final seconds ticking off the clock, Hopkins came up with a crucial steal with three seconds left to seal the win.
• Clements was the Mountain West Player of the Week on Nov. 21. The Arizona transfer was the league's newcomer of the year last season.
• Penn is off to a school-record 6-2 start on the young season, with one of those losses coming to No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 2. The Quakers own wins over St. Francis (N.Y.), Rider, Niagara, Lafayette, Army and Drexel, with St. Francis and Drexel coming in overtime. Penn's other loss came at LaSalle.
• Alyssa Baron scores an Ivy League-best 19.1 points per game, while freshman Kara Bonenberger is third in the league with 6.9 rebounds per game. Baron leads the team with 2.1 steals per game and Jess Knapp dishes off a team-best 2.3 assists per contest. As a team, Penn leads the Ivy in scoring defense, allowing just 56.2 points per game.
• Last time out, the Quakers picked up a 67-65 win over Drexel in overtime. Bonenberger notched her first career double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds in her first career start, while Baron had 26 points in 44 minutes.
• Bonenberger has been the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week three times this season. Baron, last season's conference rookie of the year, earned that honor seven times in 2010-11. Baron has been the league's Player of the Week twice this season.
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