Derell Armstrong scored a game-and career-high 30 points including 20 in the first half to lead North Division leader UNCG over College of Charleston, 78-63, in Southern Conference action held on Wednesday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Armstrong scored the majority of the Spartans' first-half points in which they forced the Cougars (16-11, 8-8) into 12 of their season-high tying 22 turnovers. UNCG (12-15, 10-5) played without the services of SoCon leading scorer Trevis Simpson, who did not play due to an injury to his toe.
The Spartans have now won 10 of their last 11 games, while it was CofC's first loss in four games under interim head coach Mark Byington. UNCG went into halftime with a 31-30 lead.
The Cougars started on a 9-2 run to open the second half of play and gained their largest lead of the ballgame on a layup by senior Antwaine Wiggins (Greeneville, Tenn.), 39-33, at the 16:27 minute mark.
UNCG immediately called a timeout to regroup and Aloysius Henry come off the bench to score seven of the team's next points including a three-pointer which shifted the momentum back in the Spartans' favor for good. Henry finished the game with a career-high 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half.
Sophomore Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.) led the Cougars with his eighth double-double of the season with 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Wiggins and junior Andrew Lawrence (London, England) added 11 apiece.
The Cougars will next travel to Kent State (19-6, 9-3 MAC) for an ESPN Sears BracketBusters matchup scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. (ET) at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio. The game will be televised regionally in the state of Ohio on SportsTime Ohio.
* For the seventh time this season, CofC went with the starting five of junior Andrew Lawrence, sophomore Nori Johnson, senior Antwaine Wiggins, sophomore Trent Wiedeman and freshman Adjehi Baru (3-4).
* With the loss, UNCG claimed the series sweep over CofC for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign. The Cougars went 5-3 against North Division opponents during the regular season. It was the team's second-straight game against a SoCon divisional leader.
* Trent Wiedeman turned in his 12th career double-double in the first half alone with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He finished the night with a team-high 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds versus UNCG. It marked his eighth double-double of the season which is second-best in the SoCon. It also marked his third 20-point game of his career.
* Four CofC players scored in double figures and extended their double-digit scoring streak including Wiedeman (four games), Andrew Lawrence (a career-best six games) with 11 points, Nori Johnson (a career-best four games) with 10 points and Antwaine Wiggins (three games) with 11 points.
* CofC outrebounded UNCG, 40-34 (+6), which marked the team's third game in the last four to outboard its league opponent by more than six rebounds. The Cougars are now 7-3 when winning the rebounding battle this year.
* The Cougars committed a season-high tying 22 turnovers in the ballgame next to 22 at then No. 4-ranked Louisville on Dec. 20. UNCG scored 25 points off of CofC's miscues.
College of Charleston Interim. Head Coach Mark Byington
On the game and the team's uncharacteristic turnovers ...
"We did a poor job tonight and it actually started at the opening tip. We were stagnant in our offense. We weren't cutting hard and we weren't breaking hard to get open. Give Greensboro the credit. They were the aggressive team tonight and they put us on our heels right away. It was uncharacteristic for us to have that many turnovers. We've done a good job of taking care of the ball. Tonight it was everyone. We weren't sharp in our offense and what hurt us defensively was the amount of points we gave up on our turnovers."
On Trent Wiedeman's play against UNCG ...
"Trent played really hard tonight. He was close to grabbing a couple of more (rebounds) that were rolling around. He kept on fighting hard, playing hard and doing the right things. We were close in the second half. We had a nice run to start the second half and I thought we were about to take the game over. We went out with a press and didn't match up well. They hit a three and had a couple of daggers at the shot clock that took our momentum away, but we will learn from it."