Pride Men Drop Season Opener To Crosstown Rival Guilford, 98-88
from Wes Gullett, Greensboro College Sports Information Director
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Greensboro College men’s basketball team fell in their season opener to 18th-ranked Guilford College Wednesday, 98-88.
Guilford College took an early one-point lead before Kyle Riddley sparked a 15-8 run that lasted 6:41 to give the Pride an 18-12 lead, in front of a capacity crowd in Hanes Gymnasium. Riddley hit his first three-pointer of the evening to start the run before connecting from long range two more times, which electrified the Greensboro faithful. Keyford Langley, Joseph Gatling and Darus Maddox then combined for the final seven points.
With Greensboro holding on to a four-point advantage following a dunk by Guilford’s Carson Long, the Pride established their largest lead of the contest at 32-19 with 7:25 to play in the first half, aided by a 14-5 run that saw Greensboro connect on six-of-seven shots from the field.
This time it was Trey Smith hitting from three-point land, while Carmoni Marks hit layups on consecutive trips down the floor before Maddox hit from long range again to cap of the run.
Despite establishing the 13-point lead, Guilford was able to close out the final seven minutes of the half on a 23-10 to tie the game at 42 heading into the break.
Over the first three minutes of the second half, the Quakers were able to take a 46-42 lead, but Greensboro came roaring back with a 10-2 run to establish a four-point lead of their own at 52-48. The three-ball once again fueled the run for Greensboro as Smith and Gatling each connected from long range.
The two teams then traded baskets over the next seven minutes of play before Guilford went on a 10-2 run of their own to take a 73-66 lead with 7:33 to play.
Greensboro did not back down from the Quakers.
The Pride answered right back with a 12-6 run to pull within one point at 79-78. Gatling scored nine of his 19 points during the run, while Marks accounted for the remaining three points.
Despite a strong effort over the final seven minutes, the Pride was not able to get any closer, falling by the 10-point margin.
“We have to do a much better job of rebounding the basketball,” Head Coach Bryan Galuski said. “I think we did a really good job of playing unselfish basketball by moving the basketball around. I really think our shooting is going to be one of our strongest points this season. If we can move the ball around and get everyone involved then we can be a very successful.
“Despite the result, there was a lot of positives that we can take from tonight. I thought we had a really good crowd tonight and they saw a really good college basketball game.”
Riddley finished with a team-high 21 points, while Maddox (18) and Smith (13) also scored in double figures. Gatling, who finished with 19 points, added 10 rebounds to record his seventh double double of his career.
The Pride men will return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the travel to Lynchburg, Va. to take on another ODAC team in the Wildcats of Randolph College. For more information on Greensboro College men’s basketball, continue to follow www.greensborocollegesports.com.
Guilford College report from Guilford College Quakers’ Sports Information Director Dave Walters:
College Men’s Basketball Final – #18 Guilford 98, Greensboro 88
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior Marcus Curry (Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford (Bridgewater)) pumped in a career-high 31 points in Guilford College’s 98-88 win at Greensboro College Wednesday night. Alston Thompson (Durham, N.C./Durham Academy) and Carson Long (Pilot Mountain, N.C./East Surry) joined Curry with double-doubles in the Quakers’ comeback victory in both teams’ season opener.
Guilford (1-0), ranked 18th in this week’s D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, has won eight straight from Greensboro (0-1), dating to 2011.
Curry’s 15 first-half points rallied Guilford from a 13-point first-half deficit to a 42-42 halftime tie. After trading baskets and the lead for most of the second half, the forward’s traditional three-point play midway through the frame broke the game’s final tie and put Guilford ahead for good. The play triggered a 7-0 spurt that gave the visitors their largest lead of the game to that point.
Greensboro’s Joseph Gatling drained three of his game-high five three-pointers in the second half, which kept the Pride in the game. His trifecta at the 5:30 mark got Greensboro to within 79-77. Carmoni Marks’ free throw 30 seconds later pulled the Pride to within one, but Curry then returned to the lineup.
Curry broke down his defender on a wing drive to the cup, threw down the game’s first dunk a minute later, and then fed a Thompson jam that sealed the win. The 6-0 burst resulted in an insurmountable 85-79 edge with just under three minutes left. Curry netted 11 points and dished out two of his game- and career-high six assists in the final five minutes. Guilford outscored the Pride, 19-10, in that time.
Guilford’s starting frontcourt of Curry, Long and Thompson combined for 66 points and 35 caroms, which helped the Quakers to a 50-30 rebounding advantage. Long scored 18 points and matched his career high with 12 rebounds. Thompson also had 12 boards and scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half. He made seven-of-eight shots from the floor. Jarrod Rogers (Archdale, N.C./Trinity) contributed 11 points, four boards, and five assists in 35 gritty minutes at point guard.
Kyle Riddley drained four three-pointers on the way to a team-high 21 points for Greensboro. Gatling posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. Darus Maddox (18) and Trey Smith (13) also scored in double figures for the Pride.
Coach Tom Palombo’s Quakers turn around to host the Daly Seven Tip-Off Tournament Friday and Saturday. Guilford meets Concordia (Texas) University Friday at 7 and Huntingdon College Saturday at 6.