Elon wins fifth straight, turns away UNCG, 62-56
ELON, NC – Ricky Hickman recorded his first career double-double and Kyle Hines had his SoCon leading sixth double-double of the season, but it wasn’t enough as UNC Greensboro fell at Elon, 62-56, in men’s basketball action Saturday night at Alumni Gym.
Hickman scored 15 of his 16 points in the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead a UNCG rally. Hines had a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans (8-9, 1-2 SoCon). Chris Chalko led Elon with (7-9, 4-0 SoCon) with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“We rebounded better and we played better on the defensive end of the floor tonight,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “We weren’t as good on the offensive end. We didn’t make shots and we didn’t make free throws. We are a young basketball team and we have to learn that every possession is valuable.”
The Spartans, who came into the night shooting just 61.3 percent from the line in their last six contests, made just 7-of-18 at the line on Saturday. UNCG made 3 of its first 11 at the line when the Spartans were trying to climb back into the contest. Elon, meanwhile, connected on 20-of-29 from the charity stripe, including 8-of-10 in the waning moments of the game.
Elon opened up the first sizable lead of the contest midway through the first half. With the score tied 8-8, Chris Chalko scored five straight points for the Phoenix to open a 15-3 run and give the hosts a 23-11 advantage.
UNCG responded however, with an 11-0 run. The Spartan offense, which had consisted primarily of Kyle Hines up to that point, got on track. Hines, who had scored eight of UNCG’s first 11 points, did not score in UNCG’s 11-0 spurt that got the Spartans back in it. Dwayne Johnson started the run with a conventional three-point play, followed by three-pointers by Kevin Oleksiak and Brian Beckford. The run, closed out with a McClenny jumper, got UNCG back to within a point, 23-22.
The Phoenix made just 2 of their last 11 shots to close out the first half, but clung to a 28-24 lead at halftime.
Elon continued to hang on to its slim margin into the second half as UNCG couldn’t seem to get over the hump for a while. Hickman, however, finally turned the corner and gave UNCG its first lead. Back-to-back dunks by Hickman gave UNCG its first lead of the night, 40-39, with just over 10 minutes to play.
But it would be a shortlived lead as Elon went on a 12-4 run to take a 51-44 lead with 4:44 to play. Jackson Atoybei scored five of the 12 points to lead the Phoenix’ run.
UNCG got back to within two late, but Elon made its free throws down the stretch. The Phoenix knocked down 8-of-10 from the line in the final 1:23 to win its fifth consecutive game and remain unbeaten in conference play.
The Spartans return home for three straight home games beginning Monday. UNCG puts its seven-game homecourt winning streak on the line Monday night when it hosts Western Carolina at 7 pm.
SIDELINES: Hines double-digit scoring effort was the 38th of his career in just 46 career games... Hickman’s first field goal came on a three-pointer at the 16:20 mark of the second half. It was his 15th straight game of 10 or more points, including all 13 this season... UNCG has won just once in 10 trips to Burlington, that coming on Nov. 27, 2001. The Spartans have lost three in a row at Alumni Gym... Five of the last six meetings between the two rivals have been decided by single digits... UNCG, which has won 22 in a row when leading at the half, is now 0-9 this season when trailing at the half... Saturday was the first time this season Hines did not record an assist in a game. He entered the game second on the team in assists (38) after recording just 26 assists a year ago.
ELON 62, UNC GREENSBORO 56
UNC GREENSBORO (8-9, 1-2 SoCon)
HINES, Kyle 9-14 1-4 19; HICKMAN, Ricky 7-16 1-5 16; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 3-16 4-6 13; McCLENNY, David 2-2 0-0 5; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-4 1-1 3; AKINOSHO, Matt 0-1 0-0 0; BECKFORD, Brian 0-0 0-2 0; TOOMS, Bart 0-2 0-0 0; SIMMONS, Everson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 7-18 56.
ELON (7-9, 4-0 SoCon)
CHALKO, Chris 7-15 0-0 18; WATSON, Montell 3-8 4-4 12; RICE, Scottie 1-5 8-10 11; ATOYEBI, Jackson 1-8 6-7 8; JAMES, Brett 2-4 1-5 6; JORDAN, LeVonn 1-3 1-2 3; HARRIS, Simon 1-1 0-1 2; WYATT, Colin 1-3 0-0 2; BRANDON, Michael 0-0 0-0 0; WATERS, Brian 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 20-29 62.
Halftime: Elon 28-24. 3-point goals-UNC Greensboro 5-21 (OLEKSIAK, Kevin 3-13; HICKMAN, Ricky 1-4; McCLENNY, David 1-1; SIMMONS, Everson 0-1; JOHNSON, Dwayne 0-2), Elon 8-22 (CHALKO, Chris 4-11; WATSON, Montell 2-3; RICE, Scottie 1-4; JAMES, Brett 1-2; WYATT, Colin 0-1; WATERS, Brian 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Elon-None. Rebounds-UNC Greensboro 40 (HICKMAN, Ricky 12), Elon 36 (CHALKO, Chris 7). Assists-UNC Greensboro 11 (HICKMAN, Ricky 5), Elon 12 (WATSON, Montell 4). Total fouls-UNC Greensboro 21, Elon 17. A-1550 (sellout)
- UNCG -