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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 28, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cassell Coliseum (10,052) -- Blacksburg, Virginia. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNCG 5-2, Virginia Tech 6-1. Away Record: UNCG 0-3, Virginia Tech 1-0. Neutral Record: UNCG 1-2, Virginia Tech 0-3. Conference Record: UNCG 0-0, Virginia Tech 1-0. Series Record: Virginia Tech leads, 8-0.
GAME NOTES: The UNC Greensboro Spartans continue their string of ACC opponents with Saturday's visit to Blacksburg against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Spartans are coming off a disappointing 59-51 loss to Wake Forest last Saturday in a game that saw them shoot just 31.7 percent from the field. Kyle Cain led the charge in the club's fourth loss in six games, notching a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Kayel Locke was his only teammate to reach double figures with 14 points. The Spartans struggled in the first 20 minutes of play, shooting just 25.8 percent from the floor, including 0-of-8 from beyond the arc. The Demon Deacons, in turn, shot 46.2 percent on that mark, good for a 29-22 lead at halftime. UNCG wound up making just one of its 15 3-point attempts.
Cain leads four double-digit scorers with 16.0 ppg to go along with a team- high 8.5 rpg. Tevon Saddler and Locke are each scoring over 11 ppg.
UNCG faces yet another ACC team on Monday as it hosts NC State before opening up its conference schedule. The Spartans have yet to beat the Hokies, losing all eight meetings against them, including a 96-87 loss last season.
Virginia Tech had a four-game winning streak halted in humbling fashion last Saturday, falling to VCU, 82-52, in the Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic. The Hokies were led by Ben Emelogu and Jarell Eddie, who had 12 points apiece, but the duo tallied seven and five turnovers, respectively. VCU reeled off a huge 31-0 run after the Hokies had taken an early 8-6 lead, and it was at least a 15-point game the rest of the way.
Virginia Tech wound up committing 27 turnovers, and those mistakes have plagued the Hokies all season. Their 14.8 turnovers per game are nearly six more than they force each time out, which puts the onus on their otherwise stout defense. Teams are shooting just 38.3 percent from the field against Virginia Tech, an eye-popping number considering all the easy chances their opponents get in transition.
Eddie leads the team with 18.6 ppg, while Adam Smith and C.J. Barksdale are chipping in 13.1 and 10.1 ppg, respectively, to an offense that averages over 75 points per game.
UNCG will not be a walkover, but the Hokies have a deeper pool of talent and should shore up their mistake-prone play just enough to squeeze out a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 80, UNCG 75
12/28 10:42:06 ET
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