GREENSBORO N.C. – The best start in UNC Greensboro men’s basketball program history now belongs to the 2018-19 squad, as the Spartans on Saturday knocked off Chattanooga 83-75 at the Greensboro Coliseum. The team is now 13-2 through 15 games for the first time ever.
With the victory, Head Coach Wes Miller also surpassed Mike Dement as the winningest coach in program history. Miller, of course, first became the interim head coach for the Spartans during the 2011-12 season before having that tag removed the next season. He is in his eighth season at the helm.
“I think it says more about the guys I’ve coached and the people that have been around,” Miller said. “I’ve never won a game by myself by any means, I haven’t played any defense or made any shots. We’ve been fortunate to have some really good players that have bought in here. …That’s the type of thing that you look back on years later and go, “That’s pretty cool that we were able to accomplish that.’”
The Spartans struggled on the offensive end for most of the first half, as UNCG as a collective had issues finishing as the Mocs held the led for nearly 15 minutes. Despite some of the woes, though, UNCG was able to take a five-point lead into halftime at 37-32 as the Spartans made their final five shots of the opening frame.
Senior guard Francis Alonso led the way for the Spartans in the first half, scoring 13 points while making all six of his free throw attempts.
While Chattanooga led for most of the first half, an aggressive Spartan defense held the Mocs without a field goal for more than five minutes before taking the lead with 2:42 remaining at 29-28 when sophomore guard Isaiah Miller drove the lane and delivered in traffic.
The Spartans extended their lead in the second half before finishing with a 13-point victory.
Offensively, Miller could not be stopped as he scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting as UNCG extended its lead to as much as 21 while leading throughout the entire frame. Junior forward Kyrin Galloway also added 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
UNCG will return to conference play next Saturday when the Spartans travel to Lexington, Va., to take on the VMI Keydets.
Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.
News And Notes
--As noted earlier, with the victory this year’s squad has set the new program record for the best start through 15 games at 13-2. Entering today’s game, this year’s team was tied with the 1994-95 team with a 12-2 record through 14 games, but that year’s squad dropped its 15th game of the season to Towson.
--Additionally, with the victory over Chattanooga, the Spartans have now won 17 straight games on home court dating back to last December. Entering the day’s action, UNCG’s home winning streak was the seventh longest in the country behind only Houston, College of Charleston, Utah Valley, Montana, Nebraska and Buffalo.
--With the victory, the Spartans have now assembled two six-game winning streaks on the season, as UNCG has won its last six contests dating back to a one-point victory over Elon on Dec. 1.
--This is the second time in program history that the team has two six-game winning streaks in a single season, as it was first done by the 2016-17 team.
--The Spartans have started 2-0 in SoCon play for the second straight year and just the third time in the last 14 years (the 2004-05 squad defeated Wofford and Appalachian State to begin conference play that season).
--With the victory, the Spartans now trail the all-time series against Chattanooga, 24-20.
--The Spartans now have a one-game advantage in their series against Chattanooga in Greensboro, 11-10.
--UNCG has now won its last three games against Chattanooga on home court.
--Miller tallied his 125th victory in his 237th game on the bench for UNCG.
--Alonso once again reached double-digits in scoring on Saturday, as the senior guard has now scored at least 10 points in UNCG’s last 16 games dating back to the team’s NCAA Tournament appearance against Gonzaga.
--Miller finished the game with a career-high 21 points. His previous career high was 20 points, which was set last Saturday against Samford.
--Junior forward Eric Hamilton logged his first career double-double, as he finished the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
-- UNCG –