Lately, he is becoming the ‘man around town’…The town being Greensboro, the he being Kobe Langley, the former Southwest Guilford Cowboy…
Langley, from Southwest Guilford High School, and coached by Guy Shavers back in his high school days, Kobe now plays for the UNCG Spartans, and the son of Keyford Langley, and the brother of K.J. Langley, Kam Langley, and Keyshaun Langley, Kobe Langley has been boosting the winning chances of his UNCG Spartans in recent games, and he did it again on Monday night, at the Greensboro Coliseum…
This time the victim was the Wofford Terriers, another Southern Conference foe heading home with an L, after spending the night on the court, with Kobe Langley, and his Spartan teammates….
Former Ben L. Smith Golden Eagles’ star Isaiah Bigelow contributed 9 points to Wofford Terriers cause, but nothing Wofford could do on Monday, could solve the case of the Kobe Langley late-game finish and his late-game efforts made the UNCG celebration a true reality, when the final horn sounded, in the big barn on West Lee Street/Gate City Blvd.
Langley’s Late Heroics Lifts UNCG Over Wofford
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kobe Langley(Southwest Guilford High School) added another jewel into his crown of basketball achievements with a pair of amazing plays in the final 16 seconds to help the UNC Greensboro (UNCG) men’s basketball team rally past Wofford, 58-54, in a hard-fought and nervously-contested Southern Conference game at the Greensboro Coliseum Monday night.
First, the junior guard drained a deep 3-pointer after driving to his left, making a Wofford defender wobble, stepping back, and then swishing a beautiful dagger that touched nothing but net to give UNCG the lead for good, 56-54, with 16 seconds remaining.
He wasn’t finished.
Next, he brought out the handcuffs to lock up Wofford’s Max Klesmit before stealing the ball with .8 seconds remaining in front of the Wofford bench, touching off a raucous celebration by UNCG players and coaches who high-fived, hugged, leaped, and yelled as a cluster of cheering fans roared their approval.
Finally, Langley sealed UNCG’s second straight triumph by sinking two foul shots.
In reaching double digits for the third consecutive contest, Langley finished with 17 entertaining points, five rebounds, and a season-high-tying four steals.
Langley’s late-game theatrics enabled UNCG to erase a 13-point deficit and overcome a first half in which the Spartans scored 18 points. Langley awakened UNCG’s snoozing offense when he beat the buzzer to end the first half for the second time this season.
That basket trimmed UNCG’s deficit to 28-18 at intermission, but it was much more than three points. It was a much-needed wake-up call.
In showcasing the essence of a champion during a second half explosion in which it scored 40 points, UNCG conducted an exquisite clinic of crisp ball movement, stifling defense, sizzling shooting, and tremendous execution.
UNCG got contributions from everybody.
De’Monte Buckingham, who scored all nine points after intermission, got the offensive rebound following a missed foul shot with 33 seconds remaining that led to Langley’s 3-pointer. Bas Leyte had 11 points and five rebounds.
Kaleb Hunter supplied plenty of juice with nine points, five rebounds, hustle, and emotion. Dante Treacy made plenty of huge defensive plays that don’t appear in the final box. Jalen White had a pair of blocked shots to go along with six points.
Wofford 9-7, 1-3
UNCG 10-5, 2-1
**********Langley on his game-winning shot.**********
“As soon as (Buck) got the rebound, I just told my teammates to give me the ball and get out of the way. Luckily, it happened the way we wanted it to. Wofford was playing me a different way than a lot of teams we played. I took what they gave me and shot it. God-willing, the shot went in.”
Langley on his game-sealing steal.
“As soon as Wofford took the timeout, we already knew who they were going to, and I told everybody that I had (Klesmit). He came off the screen and I am just locking up on defense. Luckily, I just got the steal. This is how UNCG plays defense. Hard-nosed, intensity, fierce, and aggressive.”
How It Happened
UNCG’s defense came up with two of its nine steals in the final minute.
Trailing 54-53 with 75 seconds remaining following Klesmit’s old-fashioned 3-point play, Langley scored the final five points of the contest.
Hunter tipped in a missed shot to give UNCG its largest lead of the game, 53-49, with 2:33 remaining.
Buckingham made a 3-pointer with 4:13 remaining to give UNCG its first lead since the first half, 48-47.
Kaleb Hunter buried a corner 3-pointer to give UNCG an 8-7 lead.
It was UNCG’s last lead of the first half.
Mohammed Abdulsalam and Leyte took charges on two straight defensive possessions.
UNCG raced to a 5-0 lead behind a Leyte hoop after an offensive rebound and a Langley pull-up 3-pointer on the fastbreak.
Inside the Numbers
The Spartans forced 12 of Wofford’s 19 turnovers in the second half.
UNCG scored 19 of its 40 second half points off Wofford turnovers.
Langley, who scored in double figures for the sixth time this season, tallied 11 points after intermission.
Leyte has scored in double figures in six of UNCG’s last 10 games.
This is the 13th time in UNCG’s last 14 games that Buckingham has finished with at least six rebounds.
UNCG has held four straight opponents below 60 points.
The Spartans held Wofford 22 points below its season scoring average of 76.3 points.
This is the third time this season UNCG has rallied from a double-digit deficit to win.
UNCG improved to 10-1 when holding teams below 70 points.
The Spartans are 5-0 when they force more than 15 turnovers.
This was the eighth opponent UNCG held below 60 points.
UNCG has 21 steals over its last two games.
Eleven of UNCG’s first 13 field goal attempts were 3-pointers.
In its last two home games against Wofford, UNCG has averaged 17 points in the first half.
The Spartans scored 16 points in the first half last season of a three-point loss on Jan. 9, 2021.
Wofford got 18 points and seven rebounds from B.J. Mack.
Ryan Larson (11 points) and Klesmit (10) also reached double digits for the Terriers, who made nine 3-pointers.
UNCG travels to The Citadel for a Thursday night contest starting at 7 p.m.