Isaiah Saint Hilaire
It was a night full of surprises for the Spartans as they defeated the Western Carolina Catamounts 65-48. Isaiah Miller has become a threat for the Spartans as his dunks, and friendly play continues to light it up each night. Coming off the bench, he has been very productive for the Spartans, and Coach Miller has noticed his contributions to the team.
When asked about how the win made him feel, Coach Wes Miller said “When you can win a game in double digits without having to play great basketball, that makes me feel like an exceptional coach. It makes me proud of all the guys we have on the roster and the commitment is surreal” he said. “It isn’t only about the starters making clutch plays but about the team working together to win ball games.”
Coach Miller was very impressed with the outcome his team had made for him. The Spartans started off on an 11-4 run and allowed the Catamounts to catch up. The Spartans led the whole game and never allowed Western Carolina to get within more than three points.
Coach Miller also mentioned the importance of being at the Fleming Gym. “Playing on campus against a good team made this victory that much more special because it made us feel like we were at home.” He continued, saying “although we’re used to playing at the (Greensboro) Coliseum, we enjoyed playing on campus because of how welcoming the fans were. It really pumped the whole team up and it allowed us to work better as a unit having so many of our fans cheering us on.”
When UNCG went on a run, the crowd would go insane because either Isaiah Miller was dunking or Jordy Keiper and Francis Alonzo was converting from the perimeter.
Malik Massey has been injured the past two weeks, and there has not been much distraught on the sidelines due to the play of Demetrius Troy, Justin Jordan and Isaiah Miller. Coach Miller discussed Massey’s injury and how the team has stepped up in his absence.
“Those guys have really been putting in the work that we have needed them to put in. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are at today. We are winning as a unit because guys like them are stepping up and bringing success to our team. We have enjoyed every second of their energy and success because it is helping us win.”
The play of those three guys has amplified the Spartans’ play this season and has them in second place in the Southern conference at 10-2. Their record in the conference is only inferior to East Tennessee State University.
Coach Miller began to praise ETSU when asked about how that team is so different from last year’s team.
“Well, when you win about 16 games in a row and are undefeated in your conference, you’re not a good or great team, you’re an exceptional team. You come out and show all your opponent’s night in and night out that you want to be the best. They have two good Centers that the rest of the team just feeds off” Coach Miller said. “The rest of their team provides the energy needed to have the record they have in the conference. They are undefeated for a reason, and they thrashed us earlier in the year for a reason as well. We have made some adjustments and we’ll be excited to face them at home in front of a crowd that I know will be cheering us on.”
The next two weeks for the Spartans will see them close out their regular season and conference play just in time for the SoCon tournament at the beginning of March. Tomorrow, the team will be traveling to square off against The Citadel. On Feb. 17 night, the team will face the Mercer Bears. The last time these two teams met, almost exactly one month ago, it took an extra period of basketball for the Spartans to beat them in Greensboro.