Written By UNCG Sports Information Dept.
GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNCG men's basketball sophomore forward Kayel
Locke (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) scored the game-tying basket with 3.7
seconds left in regulation to force overtime where the Spartans pulled out a
come-from-behind 69-65 victory over The Citadel Thursday night in Southern
Conference action at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Spartans rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to win their third
straight game and surpass last season's win total just 19 games into the season
at 10-9 (9-22 last year). UNCG did not lead in the game until the overtime
period, trailing the entire regulation time besides 23 seconds in the second
half when the game was tied. The victory was also the sixth straight win over
The Citadel in series history, improving to 17-7 all-time against the Bulldogs.
Locke finished the game with a team-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds
in 38 minutes of action. He scored 16 of his points in the second half and
overtime period as he was 7-of-15 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw
Junior forward Kyle Cain (Chicago, Ill./Arizona State) notched his
league-leading seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and a
career-high 16 rebounds, 12 on the defensive end. Cain's play helped the
Spartans out-rebound the Bulldogs 45-34, including 27-16 after halftime for the
top rebounding team in the conference.
UNCG (10-9, 3-1 SoCon) found itself trailing The Citadel 43-31 with 14:26
remaining in the second half after a three-pointer from Marshall Harris III. The
Spartans started the long climb back with a 9-0 run to trim the deficit to 43-40
with 12:31 remaining. Locke was the catalyst in the burst, scoring six points,
while sophomore Jordan Potts (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) hit a big
three-pointer to get the crowd going at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Citadel (4-15, 0-4 SoCon) showed its fight, responding with five straight
points, including a three-pointer from Ashton Moore to make it a 48-40 contest.
Freshman guard Tevon Saddler (Aberdeen, Md./St. Frances Academy) stepped
up this time to ignite an 8-0 spurt, tying the game at 48-48. Saddler scored six
points in the run as he attacked the basket at will against the Bulldogs before
hitting a floater in the line for the game's first tie with 4:57 remaining.
The Bulldogs quickly retook the lead and held a 57-53 lead with 2:34 left
after Moore hit another three-pointer. Locke hit one of two free throws on the
ensuing possession before the Spartans came up with their biggest defensive play
of the game. Cain stepped in front of a Citadel pass at the top of the key and
broke in alone for a fast break basket, making it a one-point game at 57-56.
After Moore hit a pair of free throws with 31.1 seconds left to extend the
lead back to three, Cain was fouled in the post. He only hit one of two free
throws but Harris III missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt,
giving UNCG the ball with 16.7 seconds remaining trailing 59-57. The Spartans
went into the post to Cain, who got a good look at the basket, but his shot was
just off the mark. Locke was left alone on the backside of the basket and
corralled the rebound before laying it in for the game-tying basket with 3.7
seconds left. The Citadel had a wild three-point attempt go well wide at the
buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
After Saddler gave the Spartans their first lead with a free throw at 60-59,
Moore hit a pair to put the Citadel back in front. On the next possession,
junior Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) drained
a three-pointer to put the Spartans in front 63-61, just his second long range
make of the night and the Spartans' fifth as a team. UNCG took care of business
on the defensive glass and Potts hit a free throw before Cain nailed a jumper
for a 66-61 lead.
Matt Van Scyoc hit a deep, turnaround three-pointer to pull the Bulldogs
within two points at 66-64. The teams traded possessions with neither one
finding a basket until the final minute. Locke once again came up with the big
play as he drove down the lane and hit a tough, contested runner through contact
giving UNCG a four-point lead with 19 seconds remaining. The Spartans were able
to secure the victory as they traded free throws in the closing seconds for the
UNCG finished the game shooting just 36.4 percent (24-of-66) from the field
and only 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from long range in the victory, but were strong
in the overtime, hitting 3-of-4 from the field. The Spartans also only committed
11 turnovers in the victory, while forcing the Bulldogs into 15 miscues on the
strength of eight steals.
Saddler finished the night with nine points, six of which came in the crucial
second half stretch before fouling out in the opening minute of overtime. Potts
chipped in seven points, while Paulos added six points and five rebounds in the
The Citadel finished the night shooting 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the
field and hit 10-of-28 (35.7%) from long range. The Bulldogs were done in by
hitting just 1-of-8 (12.5%) from the field in the overtime period and despite
entering the game as one of the top free throw shooting teams in the SoCon, only
made 9-of-18 (50%) from the charity stripe.
Moore led the Bulldogs with 21 points, including five three-pointers, while
also handing out five assists and grabbing five rebounds. Van Scyoc posted a
double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds but was limited to just three
points after the opening 20 minutes of play.
The Citadel came out of the gate quickly, jumping to a 14-2 lead early on as
the Spartans struggled offensively. \Van Scyoc and Moore hit early
three-pointers for the Bulldogs. The Spartans slowed the run with eight straight
points to narrow the gap to 14-10. Freshman guard Tyrone Outlaw (Roxboro,
N.C./Person County) came off the bench and ignited the spurt with a
three-pointer against the zone.
The Spartans connected on just 23.3 percent (7-of-30) from the field and just
2-of-8 (25%) from long range in the opening 20 minutes. Cain Led the way with
nine points and six rebounds in the half but only connected on 4-of-11 from the
field. The Citadel ended the half shooting 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the
field, including five three-pointers. Van Scyoc led the way with 13 points and
seven rebounds as he hit three long range shots.
The Spartans return to action in less than 48 hours as they host perennial
SoCon power Davidson. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.
UNCG Sports Information Dept.