Miller’s Career Night Boosts Spartans To New Year’s Win
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG men’s basketball extends its winning streak to four on New Year’s Day, moving to 2-0 in Southern Conference play on a 72-63 win over visiting Mercer. The Spartans rode a career performance from guard Isaiah Miller in their first game of 2020, with the junior pouring in a personal best 31 points and tallying a UNCG single game program record with nine steals.
Starting the evening off on a 7-0 run, the Spartans recorded three steals and three offensive boards within the first two minutes of Wednesday night’s contest. The Bears were held to just a pair of field goals in the opening seven minutes, with UNCG forcing eight turnovers on seven steals during that span.
Hitting his first two three point attempts of the afternoon, Angelo Allegri poured in nine points in the first 20 minutes, but it would be Isaiah Miller’s hot hand late in the half that gave the home team a substantial 43-25 lead heading into the break. Going 6-for-9, Miller scored 11 of his 15 first half points in the final 4:45, while his six steals put him just two shy of the Spartan individual record he would set later in the evening.
The visiting Bears would battle back in the second half, cutting their hosts lead to as little as three with two minutes left in regulation. Miller’s impressive showing on both sides of the ball would ultimately win out however, with the starting guard adding another 16 points in the second half, along with three more steals and a pair of rebounds.
The Spartans were outshot 53.8 to 35.7 in the final 20 minutes, but the UNCG defense managed to hold the Bears without a single field goal in the final three-plus minutes to take home the final 72-63. Mercer was forced to turn the ball over 24 times on the evening, tying the season-high they recorded in a season-opener loss to St. John’s, with the Spartans scoring 29 of their 72 points off of the Bears’ offensive mistakes.
Things To Know
— Miller’s 31 beats the career-best of 27 he set against Radford earlier this year, while his nine steals set a new Spartan single game record. He’s tallied six steals on three occasions prior
— With 187 career steals, Miller now ranks third in Spartan program history and is just 49 short of tying the all-time record
— James Dickey pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds on the night, twice as many boards as any other player participating
Up Next For The Spartans
The Spartans will be in the full swing of the SoCon schedule next week, getting on the road against Wofford on the 4th, before coming back to face ETSU (RV) on the 8th. The Spartans are just 16-28 when facing the Terriers all-time, but are 14- 16 against the Bucs.