GREENSBORO, N.C. — UNC Greensboro junior guard Trevis Simpson tied the school record with 41 points in the Spartans' 77-69 win over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Simpson, who leads the Southern Conference in scoring, poured in 27 points before halftime and helped the Spartans take a 41-31 lead at the break.
The Mocs (8-13, 3-5 SoCon) trailed during the entire second half. They pulled within 67-65 on an inside bucket by Zaccheus Mason. But UNCG went on an 8-0 with Simpson scoring on a spinning layup and a put-back.
"We cut it to two, and we had a shot today against a kid who had an incredible shooting night," UTC coach John Shulman said on the post-game radio show. "There is promise. This gives me hope. I didn't have much hope after Thursday."
UTC lost 85-61 at Elon on Thursday and likely lost senior point guard Dontay Hampton who re-injured the knee he spent six months rehabilitating. That forced Ronrico White back to the point guard position on Sunday. Freshman Farad Cobb played seven minutes at the point after sitting on Thursday due to his arrest on Monday.
"They need me to play the point guard position on this team, and that's what I'm going to do," White said on the radio. "The first half of the season, it was a big adjustment. But now I'm comfortable playing the 1, 2 or 3."
The Mocs were led by 18 points and 11 rebounds from Mason. White scored 15 points, and freshman guard Gee McGhee added 12 points.
Their combined efforts were not enough to topple Simpson's squad. He shot 14-of-25 from the floor, 7-of-13 from the arc and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. He scored from 30 feet away with the shot clock ticking away and he banked-in a 360-degree layup later on.
"He pulled his team through," Mason said on the air. "A lot of things he did tonight are signs of a great player. He gave them momentum when they needed it most."
The Spartans (6-13, 4-4) out-rebounded UTC 39-34 and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds -- twice as many as UTC. That's one cause of consternation for Shulman.
"A stop is finalized with a rebound," he said. "I liked our effort. We battled and battled. We pushed all the right buttons as much as we could. They had Simpson, and we didn't have a Simpson. It's as simple as getting a rebound."