ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The seventh-seeded Samford men’s basketball team built a 13-point second half lead, but a late 13-0 run by second-seeded UNCG keyed the Spartans’ 77-70 come-from-behind victory over the Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.
With the loss, Samford ends its season with a record of 17-16. The season marks the second winning season for Samford in the last three years. UNCG improves to 27-5, and the Spartans advance to Sunday’s semifinal round where they will take on either Furman or Mercer.
FROM THE BOX SCORE
- Robert Allen led Samford in scoring with 18 points.
- Ruben Guerrero posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
- Deandre Thomas tallied 10 points, while Josh Sharkey had seven points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
- Francis Alonso led UNCG with 31 points in the game.
- Isaiah Miller scored 13 points, while James Dickey had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans.
- Samford jumped out to an early 12-4 lead with 14:37 left in the first half after a jumper by Allen.
- With Samford leading, 19-15, UNCG used a 7-0 run to take a 22-19 lead with 8:16 left in the first half.
- Samford came back to take a 10-point lead at 36-26 with 3:28 to go in the first half after a dunk by Guerrero.
- Samford took a 43-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
- Samford pushed its lead to 13 points at 48-35 with 17:15 left in the second half after a three-pointer by Allen.
- UNCG used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to six at 48-42 at the 15:25 mark in the second half.
- The Spartans closed to within four points at 57-53 with 10:39 left in the second half.
- Samford scored the next five points to push its lead back out to nine at 62-53 with 8:39 left after a jumper by Myron Gordon.
- With Samford leading, 66-58, UNCG used a 13-0 run to take a 71-66 lead with 2:15 left in the second half.
- Samford fought back to cut the lead to 73-70 with 36 seconds left after a pair of free throws by Sharkey.
- UNCG, however, hit four free throws down the stretch to come away with the 77-70 victory.
- Saturday night’s game wraps up the 2018-19 season for Samford.