East Carolina spoils Spartans' home opener, 72-64
GREENBSORO, NC – East Carolina closed out the game on a 12-4 run, making eight of nine from the line over the final 2:37, to defeat UNC Greensboro, 72-64, in front of a capacity crowd of 1,831 at Fleming Gym on Saturday night.
The Pirates (3-1) snapped UNCG’s 10-game home nonconference winning streak and spoiled UNCG’s home opener. The Spartans (0-4) entered Saturday night having won 13 of the last 15 home openers and eight in a row. It was also the first time since February 18, 2003, that UNCG lost at home when leading at the half. UNCG had won 21 in a row during that span.
East Carolina, which avenged a loss in Greenville to the Spartans last December, got 19 points each from Darrell Jenkins and Jeremy Ingram. Courtney Captain chipped in 10 points.
UNCG, which jumped out quickly by scoring the first 10 points of the game, had four players in double figures. Kyle Hines and Dwayne Johnson had 13 points each and Ricky Hickman and Mikko Koivisto each had 12. Hines extended his double figure scoring streak to 25 straight games, two shy of a school record, and also grabbed nine rebounds. It was, however, his lowest scoring output of the young season, shooting just 5-for-14 from the field.
After UNCG used four different players to score the first 10 points of the contest, East Carolina went on a 12-2 run to tie the score, capped off by Darrell Jenkins jumper at 14:06. Neither team opened up a margin of more than four after that as UNCG took a 34-33 lead to the locker room on Kendall Toney’s off-balance three-pointer just before time expired.
The Spartans jumped out quickly to start the second half, as well. UNCG used a 13-5 spurt over the first 5:36 of the second half to gain a 47-38 lead. The lead was still eight, 52-44, at the 10:43 mark when UNCG went cold. The Spartans missed their next 10 shots from the floor over a 5:29 span as East Carolina regained the lead, 56-53, on an alley-oop dunk by freshman Josh Fields.
UNCG stopped the bleeding momentarily, tying the game at 60-60 on Johnson’s steal and lay-up with 2:37 to play. But East Carolina scored 12 of the final 16 points the rest of the way, with Captain scoring five of those from the free throw line.
Over the final 10:43, UNCG was just 3-for-21 from the floor after making 5-of-10 to open the half. The Spartans finished the night shooting just 35 percent from the floor. Their free throw shooting also proved costly as UNCG was just 14-24 from the charity stripe. East Carolina wasn’t much better at the line for most of the night, going 9-for-18 at the line before the final 2:37. But the Pirates made them when it counted down the stretch.
UNCG will look bounce back when it visits Gardner-Webb for an 8 pm tip on Tuesday night.
EAST CAROLINA 72, UNCG 64
EAST CAROLINA (2-1)
Jenkins, Darrell 7-15 4-7 19; Ingram, Jeremy 7-10 2-2 19; Captain, Courtney 2-5 5-6 10; Fields, John 3-5 2-6 8; Blair, Gabe 3-7 0-0 6; Farmer, Cory 1-3 4-6 6; Gagnon, Taylor 1-6 0-0 2; Hinnant, Sam 1-4 0-2 2; Ramsey, Justin 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 25-59 17-29 72.
Johnson, Dwyane 4-8 2-2 13; Hines, Kyle 5-14 3-7 13; Hickman, Ricky 4-15 3-7 12; Koivisto, Mikko 3-8 3-4 12; Stywall, Ben 2-5 3-4 7; Oleksiak, Kevin 2-8 0-0 4; Toney, Kendall 1-1 0-0 3; Brown, Pete 0-0 0-0 0; Akinosho, Matt 0-0 0-0 0; Tooms, Bart 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-60 14-24 64.
Halftime: UNCG 34-33. 3-point goals--East Carolina 5-18 (Ingram, Jeremy 3-5; Captain, Courtney 1-3; Jenkins, Darrell 1-5; Farmer, Cory 0-2; Gagnon, Taylor 0-1; Hinnant, Sam 0-1; Blair, Gabe 0-1), UNCG 8-24 (Koivisto, Mikko 3-7; Johnson, Dwyane 3-6; Toney, Kendall 1-1; Hickman, Ricky 1-6; Oleksiak, Kevin 0-3; Hines, Kyle 0-1). Fouled out--East Carolina-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--East Carolina 46 (Jenkins, Darrell 8), UNCG 37 (Hines, Kyle 9). Assists--East Carolina 10 (Jenkins, Darrell 7), UNCG 13 (Johnson, Dwyane 4). Total fouls--East Carolina 19, UNCG 25. Technical fouls--East Carolina-None, UNCG-None. A-1831 (sellout).
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