Hines and Hickman dominate as UNCG tops Furman, 69-54
GREENSBORO, NC – Ricky Hickman and Kyle Hines scored UNCG’s last 40 points and combined for 55 on the night to lead UNC Greensboro to a 69-54 win over Furman in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Saturday night at Fleming Gym.
Hickman scored 17 straight points in the second half on his way to a season-high 31 as UNCG kept pace atop to SoCon North Division standings with the win. Hickman and Hines recorded 21 of UNCG’s 26 field goals.
Hickman, a senior from Winston-Salem, NC recorded his 25th career game of 20 or more points and his third game of 30 or more. Hines, a junior All-America candidate from Sicklerville, NJ, recorded his SoCon leading ninth double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. It was the 30th double-double of Hines’ career.
The duo scored UNCG’s last 40 points, including all 36 in the second half. Kendall Toney’s three-pointer with 3:33 left in the first half was the last points not scored by Hines or Hickman.
The Spartans (11-9, 8-2 SoCon) kept pace with Appalachian State, a winner over The Citadel at home on Saturday, atop the SoCon North Division standings. It was UNCG’s fifth-straight conference win, the longest string during UNCG’s 10-year SoCon tenure. You have to go back to January 1996 for UNCG to have won five-straight conference wins. That came when the Spartans were a member of the Big South and UNCG won nine straight games over two seasons with two coaches – one being current UNCG coach Mike Dement.
“Ricky did a nice job of putting the ball on the floor and going on the attack,” said Dement. “Furman’s a good team and that is a good win. They were playing their third game this week and I think that might have showed a little. Georgia Southern will be just as tough on Monday night, though. They are athletic and we have to come to play again on Monday.”
Furman (10-11, 4-6) got 12 points from Gerad Punch and 10 points from Robby Bostain.
After their lowest scoring victory in more than 12 years in their last outing a week ago at The Citadel, the Spartans got the offense going early against Furman on Saturday. UNCG jumped out to a 20-4 lead in the first nine minutes of the game. Hines scored six, while Hickman and Oleksiak each scored five.
Hines picked up his second foul a couple ticks before the 10-minute mark and the UNCG offense sputtered. The Spartans scored just two field goals over a nine-minute span. The defense continued to keep Furman in check for a while, but then the Paladins cut the lead to 10 at 26-16 after Robby Bostain’s drive down the lane.
But Hines came back and UNCG ran off seven of the next nine, including Hines’ 10th and 12th points of the night to extend his streak of games with 10 or more points to 41 straight games. The spurt gave UNCG a 33-18 advantage.
Furman cut the lead to single-digits, however, by scoring the final four points of the first half and the first two of the second half. That started a 10-2 run that cut the Spartan lead to seven for the first time since the game’s first six minutes.
A jumper by Furman’s Alex Opacic from the right wing cut the Spartan lead to 43-36 with 13:44 to play. But Hickman stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for the conventional three-point lead and a 10-point UNCG lead with 12:39 left.
Furman cut the lead to five, but then Hickman took over, much the same way he did late in the game in the first meeting in Greenville. In the first meeting, Hickman had 26 of his 29 after halftime, including 13 in the two overtime periods.
On Saturday, when Furman switched to man-to-man, the Paladins had no answer for Hickman driving to the basket. He scored 17 straight points for UNCG, taking the Spartan lead from 48-43 with 8:26 to play to 65-47 with less than four minutes left. He opened the surge with a three-pointer against Furman’s 2-3 zone. But when the Paladins switched to man-to-man, Hickman drove it to the basket time and again, either scoring off the drive or drawing contact to go to the free throw line.
Furman remained winless at Fleming Gym, falling to 0-6 all-time.
UNCG returns to action on Monday night when the Spartans host Georgia Southern at 7:30 pm at Fleming Gym.
SIDELINES: Entering Saturday’s contest, UNCG had lost six straight television games. The Spartans’ last win on TV came in the 2005 SoCon Tournament semifinals when UNCG snapped Davidson’s 16-game winning streak... Kendall Toney extended his streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer. Toney now has at least one trey in each of his last 12 contests... In Hines 41-game streak, he has now scored 20 or more points 21 times. He has not scored less than 13 points in the streak, which dates back to December 16, 2005, and has only been held to 15 or less three times... Over the last two seasons, UNCG is 19-6 when UNCG holds the opposition under 70 points... 20 of UNCG’s 26 field goals were in the paint.
FURMAN (10-11, 4-6)
PUNCH, Gerad 5-7 2-3 12; BOSTAIN, Robby 5-11 0-1 10; WEBB, Eric 4-6 0-0 9; OPACIC, Alex 2-3 1-2 5; ANDERSON, Tony 2-5 0-0 5; JONES, Stanley 2-5 1-2 5; DIAGNE, Moussa 2-4 0-0 4; BROZOS, George 2-4 0-0 4; GLUR, Grayson 0-0 0-0 0; JONES, Jadee 0-6 0-0 0; EVANS, Darryl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-51 4-8 54.
UNCG (11-9, 8-2)
HICKMAN, Ricky 10-14 9-10 31; HINES, Kyle 11-20 2-2 24; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2-5 1-2 6; STYWALL, Ben 2-5 1-2 5; TONEY, Kendall 1-3 0-0 3; AKINOSHO, Matt 0-2 0-0 0; BROWN, Pete 0-0 0-0 0; KOIVISTO, Mikko 0-3 0-0 0; JOHNSON, Dwayne 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 13-16 69.
Halftime: UNCG 33-22. 3-point goals--Furman 2-16 (WEBB, Eric 1-3; ANDERSON, Tony 1-3; DIAGNE, Moussa 0-2; BROZOS, George 0-1; JONES, Jadee 0-4; BOSTAIN, Robby 0-1; PUNCH, Gerad 0-2), UNCG 4-13 (HICKMAN, Ricky 2-4; TONEY, Kendall 1-2; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 1-3; KOIVISTO, Mikko 0-1; JOHNSON, Dwayne 0-3). Fouled out--Furman-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Furman 24 (BOSTAIN, Robby 5; JONES, Stanley 5; PUNCH, Gerad 5), UNCG 36 (HINES, Kyle 10; STYWALL, Ben 10). Assists--Furman 9 (BOSTAIN, Robby 2; WEBB, Eric 2), UNCG 12 (OLEKSIAK, Kevin 5). Total fouls--Furman 15, UNCG 11. Technical fouls--Furman-None, UNCG-None. A-1607
- UNCG -