VMI Basketball: UNCG rallies late, avoids upset bid, winning 71-68

VMI AthleticsUNCG had to rally from 11 down with 8:26 to go to defeat VMI, 71-68, at Cameron Hall, avoiding a major slip-up for the Spartans on the road to March Madness.

Playing on Senior Day, the Keydets (8-21, 3-13 SoCon) led 64-53 on a Garrett Gilkeson three, capping a 14-4 VMI run.

The Keydets still led by seven with 3:36 to go when Angelo Allegri scored a traditional and-one three-point play, and then followed that one up with a three from behind the arc on the Spartans’ next possession to get UNCG to within one, at 66-65.

A pair of Isaiah Miller free throws with 2:26 to go put the Spartans (23-6, 13-3 SoCon) on top.

VMI’s Greg Parham answered with a driving layup that put the Keydets back on top, 68-67, with 1:49 left.

The teams traded defensive stops until a James Dickey and-one with 33 seconds left put UNCG on top to stay.

Kamdyn Curfman missed on a three with six seconds left, and Miller got the rebound, was fouled, and hit on one of two free throws with two seconds left.

Travis Evee missed a desperation three as time expired.

“We’ve had a few of these this year,” VMI head coach Dan Earl said. “I thought our guys competed today. Credit UNCG. Wes Miller is doing a great job. They’ve been there before. They are used to winning games. They kind of took the game on and had a big offensive rebound and put back late in the game. You look back and say what we could have done differently, whether it’s guys in the game or execution, but our guys are fighting, and I am proud of them for battling.

Evee led the Keydets with 16 points on the afternoon, while Gilkeson and freshman Sean Conway both scored 13.

Curfman, who finished with nine points, also poured in three treys, while Conway scored nine of his 13 points from three-point range.

Miller was instrumental in leading the comeback for the Spartans as he finished with 23 points on 8-20 shooting and one three-pointer. Angelo Allegri scored 11 and Kyrin Galloway came away with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Keydets return to action Wednesday with the home season finale at 7 p.m. against Chattanooga. VMI closes out the regular season next Saturday night at Samford before playing in the SoCon Tournament the ensuing week.

Story by Chris Graham

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