Last weekend was the beginning of college basketball season around the country, meaning that the Spartans were finally back in action after a long offseason. Both the men’s and women’s team are entering the season with high expectations, following their best seasons in recent memory last season. On the men’s side, the Spartans went 0-1, having to go on the road to face ACC powerhouse Virginia on Friday night. They lost 48-60. The women’s team played twice this weekend, once on Friday against Southern Wesleyan and once on Sunday against Greensboro College. They cruised in both games, dismantling Southern Wesleyan 96-35 then crushing Greensboro College 82-34 two days later.
For the men’s team, it was a disappointing yet cautiously encouraging showing against the mighty Virginia Cavaliers. The Spartans were underdogs coming in, but they kept it reasonably close with the Cavaliers, and ultimately fell by just 12 points in a very hostile environment. UNCG shot an abysmal 29.4 percent from the field—thanks in large part to Virginia’s suffocating defense—and connected on just four of their 26 three-point attempts, but they showed impressive toughness and were able to cut the Virginia lead to single digits in the second half.
“The game got away from us early and stayed away from us, so I was proud that we were able to find a way to dig back in there in the second half and cut it to eight,” UNCG head coach Wes Miller said in a postgame interview. “We learned a lot from playing against [Virginia head coach Tony Bennett]’s team last year because of the way they guard and I think it will be something we can learn from this year because we aren’t that bad shooting the ball and turning it over, I just think their defense is that good. Hopefully, we can take some things and show our guys.”
Marvin Smith was the only Spartan to score in double figures. He finished with 12 points to go along with nine rebounds. The Cavaliers were led by Kyle Guy, who scored 16. Devon Hall also finished with 13 for UVA.
It was a much more successful weekend here at Fleming Gymnasium for the women’s hoops. They opened up the season with a dismantling of Southern Wesleyan, 96-35. It was never close. Ije Ajemba finished with a double double for the Spartans, scoring 15 and nabbing another 15 boards. Amesha Miller finished with 17 points, and Nadine Soliman also hung up 23 for the Spartans to lead all scorers.
UNCG was back in action on Sunday against D-III Greensboro College. For an early season game, it was heated, and clear from the start that the Pride had a lot of fight in them. They jumped out on an impressive 7-0 run to start the game, but it was all Spartans from there on out. They went on to outscore the Pride 42-10 for the rest of the half, taking a 25 point lead into the halftime locker room. The Pride scored just one point in the entire second quarter. Outmatched and exhausted, Greensboro College had no more fight left in them, and UNCG switched to cruise control in the second half for an easy 82-34 victory on a cold, rainy afternoon outside the walls of Fleming Gym.
Nadine Soliman again led the Spartans in scoring, this time dropping 16 on the Pride. Four other Spartans scored 11 points, each: Te’ja Twitty, Alexus Willey, Cece Crudup, and Amesha Miller.
Women’s hoops will continue to defend their undefeated record on Nov 18 at Eastern Kentucky The men’s team will be back in action today vs North Carolina Wesleyan on Nov 15 then against Ferrum College on Nov 17. Both of these games are a part of the UNCG Spartan Classic and will be played in Fleming Gym, instead of the traditionally home venue for the men, Greensboro Coliseum.