FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,000) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: none. Home Record: The Citadel 3-2, UNCG 1-3. Away Record: The Citadel 0-0, UNCG 0-2. Neutral Record: The Citadel 0-0, UNCG 0-0. Conference Record: The Citadel 0-0, UNCG 0-0. Series Record: UNCG leads, 15-7.
GAME NOTES: UNC Greensboro tries to snap a four-game skid when the Spartans host The Citadel in the Southern Conference opener for both teams on Saturday evening.
The Spartans, who are averaging a SoCon best 78.8 points per game, suffered a 90-79 loss to crosstown rival North Carolina A&T on Wednesday. The loss was the fourth straight for UNC Greensboro, whose only win on the year has come against Winston-Salem State.
The Bulldogs have had plenty of time to rest following their 74-61 defeat to Radford on Nov. 24. The loss snapped a two-game win streak for the Citadel, although the two wins came against less than stellar competition in Montreat and Union (KY).
UNCG holds a 15-7 edge in the all-time series with the Citadel. The Spartans have won the past four meetings. Last season, UNCG swept the Bulldogs in the regular season home-and-home series posting an 82-71 victory at the Greensboro Coliseum and a 67-66 triumph at The Citadel on Simpson's alley-oop jam with 0.3 seconds left in the game. Simpson had 21 points per game over the two meetings last season, while Van Dussen shot 69.2 percent from the field and contributed 12.0 ppg. Groselle averaged 21 points and 8.5 rebounds over the two contests.
Ashton Moore scored 12 points for the Citadel in defeat last time out, while teammates Mike Groselle, Marshall Harris III and Matt Van Scyoc each had 10 points Groselle, a 6-foot-8 senior center, leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.6 rpg). Van Scyoc, a freshman swingman, is second in both categories with 12.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Forward C.J. Gray (7.0 ppg), Harris (7.6 ppg) and Lawrence Miller (10.4 ppg) round out the starting five. The Citadel has historically performed poorly in road conference openers. The Bulldogs have started SoCon play on the road 37 times since becoming a member in 1920-21 and are 9-28 in that time. The Citadel's bench of Ashton Moore (35 points), Dylen Setzekorn (28), Quinton Marshall (23), Stephen Elmore (8), Michael Hundley (6) and Janeil Jenkins (6) have combined for 106 points over the first month of the season.
Kayel Locke led the way with 22 points for the Spartans, who shot just 31 percent from the field, including 17.2 percent (5-of-29) from 3-point range in the most recent loss. Junior guard Trevis Simpson, who added 16 points, enters tonight's game 11 points shy of becoming the 19th Spartan all-time to reach the 1,000-point mark in a career. Simpson paces the team in scoring at 20.2 points per game, while senior guard Derrell Armstrong is second at 16.3 ppg. Freshman forward Kayel Locke rounds out the double-figure scorers at 12.3 per game. Fifth-year senior forward Kelvin McNeil leads the squad with 8.2 rebounds per contest.
Neither team has really performed well this season. Give the edge to UNCG at home in this one. The Bulldogs' bench has provided double-digit scoring efforts for 20 straight games, but they seem overmatched by the starting five of the Spartans.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNC Greensboro 78, The Citadel 65
12/01 10:44:17 ET
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