BOONE, NC – Ryann Abraham and Jeremi Booth came off the bench to combine for 31 points to lead Appalachian State to a 91-68 win over UNC Greensboro in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center.
UNCG (9-6, 3-3 SoCon) suffered its second straight setback after
having a six-game win streak entering their current five-game road
trip. The Mountaineers (9-6, 4-2 SoCon) took over sole possession
of second place in the SoCon’s North Division with their
fourth straight win.
Kyle Hines led the way for UNCG with a game-high 20 points. Hines extended his streak of games with 10 or more points to 64 straight games – the longest in the nation. He also added nine rebounds to go over 900 for his career. He now has 902, just 31 shy of the school mark held by Bruce Shaw.
Ben Stywall chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds and Kendall Toney added 13 points for the Spartans.
Abraham had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Booth was 5-for-5 from the floor and finished with 16 points. Donald Sims added 14 points and Donte Minter chipped in with 11 points.
“I think we’ve gotten away from some things that we had been doing defensively in these last two games,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “We need these couple of days off this week, too. We’ve been getting after it since the 26th of December pretty hard and I think we showed at times today that we are tired (playing six games in 15 days). We are at a crossroads so to speak. We need to go regroup.”
“Like coach said, we need to do a better job defensively,” said Hines. “We do a better job offensively when we play better defensively. When we defend like we were during our winning streak, we can get out and run in transition. Our defense keys our offense and we just didn’t do a good job of that today and on Thursday.”
Appalachian State played a near-perfect first half to open up a sizable lead. Of Appalachian State’s 46 first-half points, 32 of them came from the bench with Abraham and Booth combining to go 9-for-10 from the floor. The Mountaineers shot 63 percent from the floor in the half, including 7-for-10 from three-point range. Despite 12 first-half turnovers by Appalachian State, the Spartans were only able to convert them into nine points.
The Mountaineers jumped out to a quick 11-4 lead as UNCG missed seven of its first eight from the floor. The Spartans managed just two field goals in the first seven minutes of the contest as the Appalachian State lead stretched to 12. Douglass McLaughlin-Williams canned a trey from the right corner and the Mountaineer advantage extended to 26-8 at the 10-minute mark of the first half.
Trailing by 22, the Spartan offense finally got on track with five straight points by Toney. That began an 8-2 run that got the Spartans back to within 32-16. The Spartans held the Mountaineers at bay from there. Mikko Koivisto’s trey from the right wing made it 35-21 with 5:30 left in the opening half and the margin hung around there for the rest of the half. McLaughlin-Williams’ lay-up in the closing seconds of the half gave Appalachian State a 46-30 lead at the break.
After Appalachian State stretched the margin back to 21 briefly to open the second half, the Spartans got it back to 11, 54-43, with 15:20 to play. A fabulous block by Hines – the 299th of his career – was converted into a fast break lay-up by Toney. But that is as close as the Spartans would get in the second half.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the Spartans, 43-28, on the afternoon. Appalachian State also finished the day shooting 58.9 percent from the floor to UNCG’s 38.5 percent.
UNCG continues its five-game road trip next Saturday with a short trip up the interstate to take on backyard-rival Elon. The 3 pm match-up will be televised by SportsSouth.
FREE THROWS: UNCG’s loss at Chattanooga on Thursday was the first time this season that the Spartans suffered a setback when scoring 70 or more points. UNCG was 8-0 when scoring 70 prior to Thursday’s loss... Kyle Hines will be featured on Sports Illustrated’s website next week as part of Bill Trocchi’s on-line mid-major coverage... With four steals on Thursday, Kevin Oleksiak moved into the school’s top 10 list for career steals. He entered Saturday’s game with 109. Dwayne Johnson is also closing on that list, entering Saturday’s game with 99 in his career... Saturday was only the fourth home game of the season for Appalachian State – one of those was a conference game with Davidson and one was the return game from last year’s BracketBusters match-up with Wichita State... the Spartans are now 6-9 all-time in Boone... UNCG gave up 10 or more three-pointers for the third consecutive game. That hadn’t happened since November 2004.
APPALACHIAN STATE 91, UNCG 68
UNCG (9-6, 3-3 SoCon)
Kyle Hines 9-20 2-5 20; Kendall Toney 5-11 0-0 13; Ben Stywall 3-8 4-6 10; Landon Clement 2-5 0-0 6; Daniel Oliver 2-3 2-4 6; Kevin Oleksiak 1-6 2-3 5; Davor Galic 1-4 0-1 3; Mikko Koivisto 1-5 0-0 3; Darrius Sellers 1-1 0-0 2; Pete Brown 0-1 0-0 0; Michael Mitchell 0-0 0-2 0; Mike Hardiman 0-0 0-0 0; Dwayne Johnson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-65 10-21 68.
APPALACHIAN STATE (9-6, 4-2 SoCon)
Jeremi Booth 5-5 2-2 16; Ryann Abraham 6-8 2-2 15; Donald Sims 5-9 0-0 14; Donte Minter 5-5 1-2 11; Kellen Brand 3-10 2-2 9; Jeremy Clayton 3-6 2-2 8; Douglas Mclaughlin-Williams 2-2 0-0 5; Isaac Butts 2-3 0-0 4; A.J. Highsmith 1-2 0-0 3; Davis Bowne 1-2 1-2 3; Eduardo Bermudez 0-2 3-4 3; Jay Mcmillan 0-1 0-0 0; J.R. Archer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-56 13-16 91.
Halftime: Appalachian State 46-30. 3-point goals--UNCG 8-23 (Kendall Toney 3-8; Landon Clement 2-2; Kevin Oleksiak 1-2; Davor Galic 1-3; Mikko Koivisto 1-4; Daniel Oliver 0-1; Ben Stywall 0-3), Appalachian State 12-23 (Donald Sims 4-6; Jeremi Booth 4-4; A.J. Highsmith 1-2; Ryann Abraham 1-2; Kellen Brand 1-4; Mclaughlin-Williams 1-1; Jay Mcmillan 0-1; J.R. Archer 0-1; Eduardo Bermudez 0-1; Jeremy Clayton 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Appalachian State-None. Rebounds--UNCG 28 (Kyle Hines 9), Appalachian State 43 (Jeremy Clayton 13). Assists--UNCG 18 (Dwayne Johnson 6), Appalachian State 22 (Ryann Abraham 5). Total fouls--UNCG 17, Appalachian State 21. Technical fouls--UNCG-Daniel Oliver, Appalachian State-Kellen Brand. A-1954
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