Longwood vs UNC Greensboro Preview

Longwood vs UNC Greensboro

The Longwood Lancers head out on the road for the first time this season as they play the UNC Greensboro Spartans UNCG Spartan Classic.

For the second straight game, the Lancers will face a reigning conference runner-up as UNCG is coming off an appearance in the Southern Conference Championship game in 2016-17. Longwood last faced Saint Francis, which advanced to the Northeast Conference title game last season. They last played UNCG three seasons ago, also in an early-season tournament at Eastern Michigan. The Lancers pulled out an 81-79 overtime win over the Spartans in that game, which was the first time the teams squared off in Longwood’s Division I era, which began in 2004-05.

Damarion Geter leads the Lancers and has more than doubled his career scoring and rebounding averages this season. The fourth-year team captain is averaging 9.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game through his first three games compared to the 2.1 points and 3.8 rebounds he averaged entering this season. Geter suffered back-to-back season-ending injuries in 2015-16 and 2016-17, limiting him to just three games during that span. Geter’s success has come at both ends of the floor, hitting 9-of-11 (.818) shots from the field while amassing the third-most defensive rebounds in the Big South (17) and the sixth-most blocks (3).

Guard Isaiah Walton has continued the breakout from his sophomore campaign, averaging 22.7 points per game to rank second in the Big South in scoring this season. He has scored at least 20 points in two of his first three games, including a career-high 32 against Columbia on Nov. 14. Walton is one of only four players in the Big South to rank among the league’s top 10 in field goal percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage.

Armed with its largest roster in school history, Longwood has played at least 10 players in every game this season. The Lancers have 17 on the roster. This team however, is just not that good. To start the season, Longwood has lost games by 13, 10 and 27 points to mid-major level teams–those on par with UNCG.

UNCG on the other hand has a reputation as a solid mid-major program who regularly plays in the college basketball postseason. Last year, they made the NIT before losing to Syracuse.

Junior guard Francis Alonso leads the way for the Spartans–he scored a career-high 32 points and helped the UNCG men’s basketball team rally from an 11-point second half deficit as the Spartans pulled away from Colonial Athletic Association member Delaware 79-66 Monday night in the UNCG Spartan Classic at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Spartans out-scored the Blue Hens 46-32 in the second half and used a game-changing 24-4 run to take the lead for good.

UNCG improved to 3-1 on the season as it connected on 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the field and hit 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from 3-point land in the victory. The Spartans also connected on 83.3 percent (15-of-18) from the free throw line and came back from a first half deficit on the glass to out-rebound Delaware 32-27. Delaware (2-2) connected on 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field but hit just 6-of-17 (35.3%) from 3-point land.

Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 32 minutes of play, hitting three 3-pointers. Sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) rounded out the Spartans in double-digit scoring with 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds, blocking four shots and notching three steals. Dickey connected on 5-of-8 from the field and hit both of his free throws.

After losing their first game of the season to Virginia 60-48, UNCG has won three straight by an average margin of victory of 33 points.

Prediction

Longwood has a long season of losing ahead of them and tonight will be no difference.

UNC Greensboro 80 Longwood 60

 

 

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