STATESBORO, GA – Georgia Southern went 14:37 without a field goal in the second half and UNCG went on a 32-4 run in the span on its way to a 68-47 win Saturday in men's basketball action at Hanner Fieldhouse.
As the Spartans switched to their 2-3 match-up zone, the Eagles (6-6, 0-2 SoCon) missed 17 consecutive shots from the floor and were just two of six at the line in the drought. The win was UNCG’s fourth win in a row and sixth in the Spartans’ last eight games after an 0-4 start.
All-American candidate Kyle Hines tied a school-record with his 27th career double-double, leading the way with 20 points and 13 rebounds. It was Hines 33rd consecutive game scoring in double digits, extending his school record. In the course of the streak, it was the 16th time that Hines has scored 20 or more points.
UNCG freshman Mikko Koivisto scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, tying his season high for points, to spark UNCG’s comeback. Senior guard Ricky Hickman added 18 points.
Georgia Southern was led by Donte Gennie’s 17 points, 13 of those coming in the first half.
“This is a good win for us, as it is whenever you win on the road in the conference,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “They missed shots and it just snowballed on them. It has happened to us a couple of times this year. You miss a few, then another and another - and you can see the look on their faces. We’ve been there. Those are shots that will fall for those guys – (Dwayne) Foreman and (Donte) Gennie in particular.”
The 21-point loss was Georgia Southern’s worst at home since January 31, 1998. It was the Eagles’ worst home loss under coach Jeff Price.
In the first 14 minutes of the contest, neither team was able to breakaway as the margin never got to more than five. Using the three-point line, Georgia Southern opened things up in the latter part of the first half by knocking down six of its first nine from behind the line.
The Eagles had opened up a five-point lead, 17-12, but a conventional three-point play by Hines tied the scored, 17-17, with 8:26 to play in the half to cap a 5-0 mini-run. But the Eagles answered with an 11-3 spurt of their own, capped off by Dwayne Foreman’s three-pointer from the right wing, to open up a 28-20 lead with 5:35 left in the half.
UNCG, which made just 3-of-8 from the foul line in the first half, nibbled at the lead a couple of times before the intermission, but went to the locker room trailing by six, 35-29.
UNCG (6-6, 3-1) slowly pecked away in the second half, then shifted into high gear. The Spartans used a monsterous 31-4 run to regain the lead and pull away. The Spartans held Georgia Southern to just one field goal in a span of nearly 16 minutes and more than 14 minutes without a bucket. Koivisto’s three-pointer with 12:07 to play gave UNCG its first lead since the opening minutes of the game, 44-43. Koivisto sparked the run as he accounted for eight of UNCG’s first 12 points in the run.
The Spartans continued to pull away from there as Georgia Southern couldn’t make a shot from the floor, and struggled from the free throw line as well. By the time the Eagles’ Louis Graham knocked down a three-pointer at the 1:49 mark, the Spartans’ lead had already hit 20.
Georgia Southern shot just 4-for-25 from the floor in the pivotal second half.
UNCG returns to action on Tuesday when it visits North Carolina State for a 7 pm game that will be televised by ESPNU.
SIDELINES: In the first half, Georgia Southern was 6-of-11 from three-point range and just 5-of-19 from inside the arc. The Georgia Southern guards accounted for 10 of the Eagles’ 11 field goals, while the frontcourt shot just 1-for-9 from the field... During Kyle Hines’ 33-game scoring streak, the continuity of the streak has rarely been in question. Hines has not scored fewer than 13 points and has topped the 20-point mark 16 times... Saturday’s game was UNCG’s fourth SoCon game of the season. Prior to this season, UNCG had only played four conference games before January 1 in 39 seasons of play... Kevin Oleksiak showed no ill effects of the ankle injury he suffered a week earlier in UNCG’s win over Delaware. Oleksiak did not start the game, but checked in 4:28 into the contest... The game featured two of the premier frontcourt players in the SoCon in Georgia Southern’s Louis Graham and UNCG’s Kyle Hines. Graham entered Saturday’s game with four straight double-doubles and six this year, while Hines recorded his sixth of the season, leading the league in scoring and rebounding.
UNC GREENSBORO 68, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 47
UNC GREENSBORO (6-6, 3-1 SoCon)
HINES, Kyle 6-11 8-12 20; HICKMAN, Ricky 6-10 4-8 18; KOIVISTO, Mikko 6-8 0-0 16; TONEY, Kendall 2-6 0-0 6; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-3 4-8 6; STYWALL, Ben 1-3 0-0 2; AKINOSHO, Matt 0-1 0-1 0; BROWN, Pete 0-1 0-0 0; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 0-2 0-0 0; TOOMS, Bart 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 16-29 68.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN (6-6, 0-2 SoCon)
GENNIE, Donte 7-17 0-0 17; FOREMAN, Dwayne 3-11 1-2 10; GRAHAM, Louis 1-7 5-9 8; TOBIAS, Jimmy 1-4 2-3 4; JOHNSON, Antoine 2-5 0-0 4; SALAZAR, Diogo 1-6 1-2 3; HYNES, Ryan 0-3 1-2 1; WARD, Kenith 0-0 0-0 0; JANISZEWSKI, K. 0-1 0-2 0; THOMPSON, Blake 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-55 10-20 47.
Halftime: Georgia Southern, 35-29. 3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 8-18 (KOIVISTO, Mikko 4-6; HICKMAN, Ricky 2-4; TONEY, Kendall 2-4; TOOMS, Bart 0-3; STYWALL, Ben 0-1), Georgia Southern 7-22 (FOREMAN, Dwayne 3-9; GENNIE, Donte 3-9; GRAHAM, Louis 1-2; THOMPSON, Blake 0-1; TOBIAS, Jimmy 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-STYWALL, Ben, Georgia Southern-None. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 50 (HINES, Kyle 13), Georgia Southern 30 (GRAHAM, Louis 9). Assists--UNC Greensboro 12 (HINES, Kyle 4), Georgia Southern 8 (FOREMAN, Dwayne 5). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 18, Georgia Southern 23. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, Georgia Southern-None. A-1646.
- UNCG -