CHARLESTON, SC – UNC Greensboro held The Citadel without a field goal the final 4:38 to grind out its fourth straight conference win, 47-44, Saturday afternoon at McAlister Field House.
Kyle Hines recorded his eighth double-double of the season and the 29th of his career with 18 points and 11 rebounds. It extended his string to 40 consecutive games scoring 10 or more points and gave UNCG a four-game SoCon winning streak, the longest for UNCG since January 2002. He scored UNCG's final seven points of the game.
Hines became the second player in school history to score 400 points in a season three separate years, joining UNCG’s all-time leading scorer Jay Joseph. Hines is the first to do so in three consecutive years as Joseph’s came in his freshman, junior and senior seasons. He now has 411 points this season, leading the SoCon in scoring at 21.6 ppg.
There were no style points for Saturday’s win as UNCG battled through a second-half drought of just two field goals over a nearly 13-minute span. But The Citadel wasn’t much more proficient. The Citadel managed just seven field goals in the second half, while UNCG managed just six. But it was just enough for the Spartans to hold onto first place in the SoCon’s North Division.
After The Citadel shut down UNCG for a shot clock violation, UNCG’s Kevin Oleksiak got a piece of a three-point attempt to tie the game with 57 seconds to play and Hines grabbed the rebound. The Spartans ran the clock down to 26 seconds before calling timeout, but could not get a shot coming out of the timeout, either.
However, UNCG (10-9, 7-2 SoCon) turned to the defense one last time, forcing The Citadel into a desperation shot as time expired, which fell short and UNCG had the big road win. The Spartans have now won in each of their last three trips to McAlister Field House.
Demetrius Nelson had 13 points and Donny McLendon added 11 for The Citadel (6-13, 3-5).
“It was exactly what we expected,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “We expected to come down here and be in a grind-it-out kind of a game and that is exactly what it was. They are better than they were a year ago and we really had to turn it up a notch on the defensive end to get it done today. We responded and are happy to get out of here with a win.”
An 8-1 run by The Citadel gave it a 23-18 lead with five minutes to play in the first half, the biggest lead by either team to that point. UNCG missed six of eight from the floor, including a span of more than four minutes without a bucket, as a two-point Spartan lead turned into a five-point Bulldog advantage.
But UNCG scored the last nine points to close out the half, despite Kyle Hines, Ricky Hickman and Ben Stywall all sitting on the bench with two fouls. UNCG held the Bulldogs without a field goal for the final 4:52 of the half. The half was capped off by a long three-pointer by Dwayne Johnson and an 18-footer by Kevin Oleksiak as the Spartans took a 27-23 lead into the locker room. Mikko Koivisto began the second half with a three-pointer to give UNCG its largest lead to that point at seven and cap the 12-0 run.
The Bulldogs battled back to within one, 36-35, on Joseph Thompson’s bucket in the lane. UNCG went 7:15 between baskets as The Citadel rallied.
UNCG returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Furman at 6 pm at Fleming Gym. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast.
SIDELINES: The Spartans had just 40 hours between Thursday’s win over Appalachian State and the tip-off of Saturday’s game in Charleston. In between were Friday morning classes, a five-hour Friday afternoon bus ride and a quick 70-minute workout at McAlister Field House on Friday night... Dwayne Johnson moved into seventh place on the UNCG career assist list on Saturday... Kendall Toney extended his streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 11. Toney didn’t waste much time, knocking one down just 1:17 into the contest... UNCG
UNC GREENSBORO 47, THE CITADEL 44
UNC GREENSBORO (10-9, 7-2 SoCon)
HINES, Kyle 6-9 6-9 18; KOIVISTO, Mikko 1-8 2-3 5; HICKMAN, Ricky 2-5 0-2 5; BROWN, Pete 2-2 0-0 4; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2-5 0-0 4; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-3 0-0 3; TONEY, Kendall 1-3 0-0 3; STYWALL, Ben 0-2 3-4 3; AKINOSHO, Matt 1-2 0-1 2;
TOOMS, Bart 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-40 11-19 47.
THE CITADEL (6-13, 3-5 SoCon)
NELSON,Demetrius 5-7 3-4 13; MCLENDON,Donny 4-13 0-0 11; HAMMACK,Kevin 3-11 1-2 8; THOMPSON,Joseph 2-4 1-1 5; VALIULIS,Vytautas 1-4 0-1 2; DIASPARRA,Chris 1-2 0-0 2; EVERHART,J'Mel 1-1 0-0 2; BRICK,Jonathan 0-2 1-2 1; STREETER,Bryan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-45 6-10 44.
Halftime: UNCG 27-23. 3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 4-19 (JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-3; HICKMAN, Ricky 1-3; KOIVISTO, Mikko 1-8; TONEY, Kendall 1-3; TOOMS, Bart 0-1; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 0-1), The Citadel 4-19 (MCLENDON,Donny 3-9; HAMMACK,Kevin 1-6; VALIULIS,Vytautas 0-2; BRICK,Jonathan 0-1; THOMPSON,Joseph 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, The Citadel-None. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 29 (HINES, Kyle 11), The Citadel 30 (MCLENDON,Donny 7). Assists--UNC Greensboro 7 (TONEY, Kendall 2; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2; JOHNSON, Dwayne 2), The Citadel 10 (BRICK,Jonathan 6). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 19, The Citadel 15. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, The Citadel-None. A-1411
- UNCG -