The UNCG Spartans (18-6, 9-2 SoCon) can prolong a six-game home winning streak when they meet the Western Carolina Catamounts (12-13, 7-5 SoCon) at Michael B. Fleming Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 10, 2018.
Western Carolina Catamounts at UNCG Spartans ATS Preview
The last time the Catamounts played, they were victorious over the VMI Keydets, 72-60. Deriece Parks was the top scorer from either team with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Western Carolina’s effective field goal percentage was their largest strength over VMI. The Catamounts had a rate of 0.593 (above their season average of 0.472), while the Keydets posted a mark of 0.366 (below their season average of 0.477).
The Spartans hope to maintain momentum after topping the Furman Paladins in their last game, 80-67. James Dickey was a key piece for UNCG with 11 points and 12 rebounds. UNCG played a nearly flawless game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 44.4 (above their season average of 34.1) and a free throw rate of 0.214 (above their season average of 0.196). Furman was 7.1 and 0.180, respectively, for those same stats.
This has potential to be an error-filled game for the offense of UNCG. UNCG ranks 302nd in the nation in ball protection (turnover percentage of 21.1 percent), while the disruptive defense of Western Carolina forces the 40th-most turnovers in the NCAA (22.0 percent). Moreover, the 314th-ranked offense of the Catamounts (offensive efficiency of 98.0) will face a tough test against the ninth-ranked defense of the Spartans (defensive efficiency of 93.2).
Marvin Smith has been playing at a high level over the last five games for UNCG, averaging 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The Spartans won 66-55. UNCG had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (50.0 vs. 18.5). Western Carolina, on the other hand, had a much better free throw rate (0.526 vs. 0.094). Smith was the games leading scorer with 24 points.
Western Carolina Catamounts vs. UNCG Spartans Odds Prediction
Free Basketball Tip: SU Winner – UNCG, ATS Winner – UNCG, O/U – Over
- The Spartans average 8.2 steals per game, which ranks 15th in the NCAA. The Catamounts rank 213th in steals allowed per game (7.9).
- UNCG ranks fifth in blocks allowed per game (2.1) while Western Carolina ranks 157th (4.0).
- UNCG ranks sixth in rebounds allowed per game (29.9) while Western Carolina ranks 230th (37.1).
- The Spartans average 27.3 three pointers per game, which ranks 20th in the NCAA. The Catamounts rank 239th in three pointers allowed per game (24.2).
- UNCG ranks 10th in assists allowed per game (10.1) while Western Carolina ranks 218th (15.2).
- The Spartans average margin of victory in their last five games has been 11.8, up from 10.6 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Catamounts have scored an average of 72.8 points per game (3.7 above their season average) and allowed an average of 75.2 points per game (0.5 above their season average).