LEXINGTON, Va. – UNC Greensboro men’s basketball has upped its current winning streak to seven games after the Spartans on Saturday defeated VMI 71-68 at Cameron Hall.
The victory also has the Spartans at 3-0 to begin Southern Conference play for the first time since the 2001-02 season when UNCG won the North Division.
Additionally, the Spartans are now 14-2 overall on the season and have won their last five matchups with the Keydets.
The Spartans struggled to shot the ball in the first half, as UNCG collectively was just 9-of-35 from the field while making just two shots from behind the arc. The Spartans trailed for more than 11 minutes of the first half action, including a 10-point deficit at 35-25 with less than three minutes remaining.
While junior forward Eric Hamilton was able to cut the deficit to just six on back-to-back buckets, the Keydets took a 40-32 lead into the halftime break.
VMI made more than half of their attempts from downtown in the first half, making 7-of-13 shots from behind the arc.
Senior guard Francis Alonso lead the Spartans in scoring in the first half with seven points.
UNCG started the second half on a 10-2 run, with sophomore guard Isaiah Miller scoring seven of those points to tie the game at 42-42 with 16:09 remaining. It was the first of five occasions in which the game was tied in the second half.
The Spartans took their first lead since the 13:32 mark of the first half with six minutes left in the second half when junior forward James Dickey made an and-one off a foul. Dickey made his first appearance since suffering an injury against Kentucky on Dec. 1.
Despite the eight-point halftime deficit, UNCG pulled away late to score a three-point victory over VMI after Alonso hit from the top of the arc to give the Spartans a 70-67 lead with 51 seconds left.
The Spartans will return to action on Thursday night when UNCG hosts Wofford at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
News And Notes
--The Spartans continued the best start in program history with this victory over VMI. This is the first time in program history that UNCG is 14-2 through 16 games.
--The current seven-game winning streak is tied for the fourth longest in program history, matching streaks put together by the 1979-80, 1994-95 and 2011-12 squads.
--This is also the longest winning streak for the Spartans since the 2016-17 team won nine games in a row.
--The Spartans have won five straight against VMI dating back to a 91-82 victory on Jan. 14, 2016.
--UNCG’s lead in the all-time series is now 16-8.
--Dating back to last February, the Spartans have now won their last nine games against SoCon competition including three games played in last year’s SoCon Tournament.
--The victory is Miller’s 126th at 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 17 games dating back to the team’s NCAA Tournament appearance against Gonzaga.
--Dickey returned to the starting lineup after missing the last six games with injury. He finished the game with nine points, six rebounds and two steals.
--Miller pulled down a career-high nine rebounds.
-- UNCG –