Spartans fall at Chattanooga, 78-69, in SoCon men's basketball
GREENSBORO, NC – Sparked by a 10-2 run to open the second half, Chattanooga broke open a tight game and went on to beat UNC Greensboro, 78-69, Saturday afternoon in men’s basketball action.
Kyle Hines led the way for UNCG (7-8, 1-1) with 23 points. Ricky Hickman added 20 points, extending his string of double-digit scoring games to 11 straight and 21 of his last 22. Kevin Oleksiak chipped in 13 points, 11 of those in the second half after a slow start.
Chattanooga (9-7, 1-1) got 24 points from Casey Long and 16 points each from Keddrick Mays and Ricky Hood. The Mocs shot 57 percent from the floor in the second half and knocked down 16-of-21 from the free throw line.
“They played very well and shot the ball well today,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “They shot better than they did in their last game against Furman and I thought we didn’t get as much defensive pressure on their shooters as Furman did.”
The first half was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than five points. Chattanooga’s three-point shooting kept them close, while UNCG rode Hines’ as long as they could. The Mocs knocked down seven three-pointers in the first half, four by Mays.
Four of Chattanooga’s three pointers came in a four-minute span late in the first half as the Mocs took a 36-35 into the locker room. Hines, meanwhile, had 17 points in 16 first-half minutes for the Spartans to lead all scorers at the break, shooting 8-for-9 from the field, to keep the Spartans, who led for the majority of the first half, within striking distance.
However, Chattanooga adjusted in the second half, double-teaming Hines every time the 6-6 sophomore touched the ball. Hines, the unanimous choice for Southern Conference Freshman of the Year a year ago, scored just two points in the first 13 minutes of the second half.
The Mocs opened up a nine-point lead to open the second half. Chattanooga scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second half to take a 46-37 lead.
The Spartans cut into the deficit and got it back to four on a Hickman putback, 48-44, with 13:48 to play, but the Mocs extended it back to 10, 59-49, on Hood’s baseline jumper from the right side with 7:26 to play.
UNCG got back to within five with 1:34 to play on Kevin Oleksiak’s conventional three-point play. But the Mocs knocked down 7-of-8 from the line in the final 88 seconds to hold the Spartans off.
SIDELINES: Associate head coach Anthony Jones, who turned 48 on Friday, received birthday greetings from the Spartan squad on Friday night. The team closed out its shootaround with a singing of “Happy Birthday” that won’t get them a record deal or an appearance on American Idol anytime soon... Hines’ 23 points was good for his 36th double-figure scoring performance in 44 career games...With a basket at 15:39, Ricky Hickman passed the 800-point mark for his career, the 26th Spartan to do so... Brian Beckford did not make the trip due to illness.
CHATTANOOGA 78, UNC GREENSBORO 69
UNCG (7-8, 1-1)
Hines, Kyle 11-13 1-3 23; Hickman, Ricky 7-22 3-4 20; Oleksiak, Kevin 4-16 3-5 13; Tooms, Bart 3-4 0-0 8; McClenny, David 2-5 0-0 4; Johnson, Dwayne 0-3 1-2 1; Akinosho, Matt 0-0 0-0 0; Simmons, Everson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-64 8-14 69.
CHATTANOOGA (9-7, 1-1)
Long, Casey 7-10 7-8 24; Hood, Ricky 6-10 3-4 16; Mays, Keddric 6-13 0-1 16; Anderson, Charles 3-5 2-2 8; Cherry, Steve 2-5 2-2 7; Doaks, Nicchaeus 1-4 1-2 3; Hartwell, Khalil 1-1 0-0 2; Pugh, Alphonso 0-3 1-2 1; Crouch, Jerice 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 26-53 17-23 78.
Halftime: Chattanooga, 36-35. 3-point goals-UNCG 7-28 (Hickman, Ricky 3-11; Oleksiak, Kevin 2-10; Tooms, Bart 2-3; Simmons, Everson 0-1; Johnson, Dwayne 0-2; McClenny, David 0-1), Chattanooga 9-18 (Mays, Keddric 4-9; Long, Casey 3-5; Hood, Ricky 1-2; Cherry, Steve 1-1; Crouch, Jerice 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Chattanooga-None. Rebounds-UNCG 37 (Hines, Kyle 8), Chattanooga 33 (Anderson, Charles 5). Assists-UNCG 13 (Oleksiak, Kevin 4), Chattanooga 13 (Mays, Keddric 3; Hood, Ricky 3). Total fouls-UNCG 20, Chattanooga 11. Att: 3590
- UNCG -