SIXTH SENSE: UNCG Has Plenty In Reserve To Rally Past Chattanooga
**********Keyshaun Langley(Southwest Guilford HS) with 9 points/4 assists for Spartans**********
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The UNC Greensboro (UNCG) men’s basketball team erased a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes and rallied for a memorable 74-66 triumph over Chattanooga in a Southern Conference thriller at McKenzie Arena Saturday afternoon.
Junior guard Angelo Allegri led UNCG with 17 points. Freshman guard Jarrett Hensley added a career best 12 points while junior guard Kaleb Hunter steadied the Spartans with 10 points and seven rebounds. UNCG also got nine points each from senior center Hayden Koval and sophomore guard Keyshaun Langley(Southwest Guilford High School) to earn its sixth straight road victory.
Junior forward Mohammed Abdulsalam had eight rebounds and senior guard Isaiah Miller added eight points. As you can see, everybody except Spiro made meaningful contributions for UNCG in its latest conquest.
The six road wins are tied for the best in the country with Belmont, UMBC, Chattanooga, and Bowling Green. UNCG head coach Wes Miller isn’t keeping track of road win streaks. All that matters to him is that the Spartans have won nine of their last 11 contests.
Competing with a relentless intensity driven by desperation, UNCG showcased championship character, resilience, and poise in extending its overall winning streak to four games. The Spartans endured a host of obstacles in the second half.
UNCG started the second half by making two of its first nine shots.
The Spartans went nearly seven minutes without a basket.
Miller left the game for a few minutes with an injury that temporarily rattled the Spartans.
The Spartans trailed 57-48 with 7:50 remaining.
It didn’t matter. As long as there’s time on the clock, UNCG always believes it will find a way.
UNCG responded in the face of the road adversity it faced with its only weapon – suffocating defense. Playing with pugnacity and purpose, UNCG unleashed a quick 10-0 burst in less than two minutes that melted its deficit and breathed life back into the Spartans.
With UNCG trailing by eight earlier in the half, Allegri made the play of the game when he stole a pass and sailed in for a dunk. That rim-rattling flush inspired confidence in the Spartans.
UNCG 10-5 overall, 5-2 SoCon
Chattanooga 12-5, 3-5
Miller on what turned the game around for the Spartans.
“Give Chattanooga credit. They are a good basketball team that’s having a great year for putting us in a hole. We started trying to guard a little harder. We had a feeling that it might not be our night. Angelo gets a big steal and a runout for a (dunk) and I thought we had a different type of defensive energy from that point forward.”
Allegri on UNCG’s defensive effort late in the game.
“We were playing pretty good defense but we weren’t finishing the possessions. We went into a timeout and said that if we were going to win this game, we were going to have to buckle down and do this. Out of that timeout, it felt like everything changed from that point forward. We knew we had to more disciplined on that end of the floor.”
Inside the Numbers
UNCG outscored Chattanooga, 26-9 to finish the game.
The Spartans held Chattanooga to 3-of-15 shooting over the final 7:50.
Meanwhile, UNCG’s offense caught fire, especially from 3-point distance.
Allegri sandwiched a pair of triples around a Hensley 3-pointer to give UNCG the lead for good, 61-59 with 4:16 remaining.
When David Jean-Baptiste pulled the Mocs to within, 63-62, with 3:03 left, UNCG ran off nine straight points highlighted by a pair of Koval baskets.
Chattanooga shot 53.8 percent in the opening 20 minutes to lead 37-34 at intermission.
UNCG was led by seven points each in the opening half from Hensley and Allegri.
Allegri has 97 career 3-pointers.
Miller has scored 1,664 career points.
Hayden Koval has 312 blocks, which is 67th all-time in college basketball history.
This was Abdulsalam’s 11th game this season with at least six rebounds.
UNCG had 20 second-chance points and won the battle of benches, 25-15.
The Spartans made 16-of-32 shots in the second half.
During its six-game road win streak UNCG has outscored opponents, 275-184, in the second half. In addition, the Spartans have permitted teams to shoot 32.7 percent (56-for-171) from the field and 21.0 percent (16-for-76) from 3-point distance.
Darius Banks led Chattanooga with 18 points.
David Jean-Baptiste (13 points) and Malachi Smith (12) also reached double digits for the Mocs.
UNCG finishes its road trip by visiting Furman on Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.