North Alabama 48
GREENSBORO – For the UNCG players and staff, the best thing about the Spartans’ 53-48 win over North Alabama Saturday is it’s over.
The Spartan players and coaches pretty much agreed that they didn’t play nearly as well as they could have or should have. And while head coach Wes Miller struggles to pinpoint the reasons for the dip in his team’s form lately, he will take a win however it comes.
“I’ve lost enough games as a head coach to be able to appreciate any win,” said Miller, who Spartans moved to 10-2 on the season. “But we are really frustrated with how we are playing right now.”
Francis Alonzo, who Miller said wasn’t feeling well, led the Spartans with 14 points, but was 1-for-6 from three-point range. Isaiah Miller added 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
It was fewest points the Spartans scored this season, and the second fewest points the team allowed this year. They shot 30 percent from the floor and made just four of 20 three-pointers.
“Sometimes the ball doesn’t go in,” Miller said. “A great basketball coach once said, ‘The best wins are the ones when you shoot terribly and still find a way to win.’
“I don’t think the way we approached the game was wrong. I thought we worked hard and had good effort. We were trying to do things right, we just weren’t doing it at both ends of the court.”
UNCG’s only losses this season have come at Kentucky and LSU. The Spartans have won three straight heading into Tuesday’s game against Radford, which lost by eight points to Clemson on Saturday.
The Spartans begin their Southern Conference schedule on Dec. 22 at Samford and host SoCon rival Chattanooga Dec. 29.
After Saturday’s win, as slim as it was, the Spartans are halfway to another 20-win season. But right now, getting 10 more wins is far from Miller’s mind. Asked if his team was prepared to begin Southern Conference play, he didn’t hesitate.
“Emphatically, no,” he said. “We are really frustrated, and that’s OK. It means our guys have high standards. But we are not satisfied with the way we are playing.
“Don’t get us wrong, a lot of people would be thrilled to be 10-2, and we appreciate it too. But there is no one in that locker room right now that feels good about this win. Not the coaches or the players.”