By Brandon Boyer, Staff Writer
Published in print Mar. 4, 2015
The Men’s Basketball team closed out a largely unremarkable season with a win and a loss at The Greensboro Coliseum against the visiting Samford Bulldogs and Chattanooga Mocs last week.
The final win of the regular season came against the visiting Samford Bulldogs, 81-67 on Thursday, and completed back-to-back games in which the Spartans scored more than 80 points (they had scored 84 the previous game), which is rather remarkable for college teams and usually signifies a dominant performance by the winning team.
Senior guard Nicholas Paulos joined teammate Kayel Locke as the 21 member of UNCG’s 1,000-point club in the Thursday evening victory over the Bulldogs, securing the feat with a dominant second half performance. Redshirt sophomore center R.J. White continued his rise to dominance in the paint for the Spartans with his seventh double-double of the season, scoring a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Six Spartans finished in double-digits thanks to a dominant 22-4 scoring run in favor of the hosts in the second half.
For senior night, the Spartans hosted the Chattanooga Mocs at The Greensboro Coliseum in what was a fitting end for the regular season for UNC-Greensboro as the boys in blue and gold lost on a contested, buzzer-beating three pointer, with a final score of 61-58.
Seniors Nicholas Paulos and Jamal Mitchell were recognized in the pregame festivities as the team’s graduating players and the families were presented with commemorative-framed pictures prior to tip-off.
“This was a tough loss for us,” said head coach Wes Miller to UNCGSpartans.com.
“I was really hoping we would send Nicholas Paulos out the right way on his senior night and I thought we did with our effort. We played together and we fought for him. We have to keep our heads up and get ready for the conference tournament.”
The visiting Mocs held the Spartans high-scoring attack well, forcing UNC-Greensboro into errors and erroneous plays and decisions, both on and off the ball.
Even the hot hand of R.J. White was held to a mere 14 points and eight rebounds coming off the bench, giving White a 16.6 point average over the last five games going into the Southern Conference tournament next week.
The Southern Conference tournament is held at the U.S. Cellular Center at Asheville and the eighth-ranked UNC-Greensboro will take on the ninth-ranked Samford Bulldogs in the opening round at 6p.m. this Friday.
The Spartans finish with 10 wins and 21 losses in what was a bit of a letdown of a season.
With the loss of Jordan Potts and Tyrone Outlaw in the off-season and with rampant injuries plaguing Wes Miller’s side, UNC-Greensboro did not have much of a fair chance at this season.
In the headlining matchup of the season at Indiana, which saw the Spartans put in a very respectable performance on an 87-79 loss, the Blue and Gold only had seven healthy players and relied heavily on the three ball to limit injuries on the inside.
The Spartans also finished out their regular season with only seven healthy players against Chattanooga.
It just has not been a season to remember.
Thankfully, the Spartans can seek redemption this upcoming week at the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament.
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