GREENSBORO, NC – The frontcourt duo of Kyle Hines and Ben Stywall combined for 41 points as UNC Greensboro snapped a four-game skid with a 79-55 win over Appalachian State in front of a capacity crowd at Fleming Gym on Saturday afternoon
Hines finished with 26 points, 19 of them in the second half. He played just 27 minutes after sitting nearly eight minutes of the first half with two fouls. It was his 74th consecutive game with 10 or more points, the longest current streak in the nation. Stywall added 15 points, 12 of those in the first half. The duo of Hines and Stywall combined to shoot 16-for-21 from the floor, while the rest of the squad shot just 11-for-30. It was enough though for the Spartans to shoot 53 percent from the floor for the game. Stywall also had a game-high nine rebounds.
It was Hines 10th game this season with 20 or more points and the 43rd of his career. With five rebounds on Saturday, he is now seven shy of the 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound milestone entering Tuesday night’s nationally televised game at Davidson. That game, tipping off at 7:02 pm ET, will be shown on ESPN2. Ninety-five players in college basketball history have achieved the milestone, but only five of those have ever had 300 or more career blocks. Hines now has 326 after recording two rejections on Saturday.
With Saturday’s result, the Southern Conference’s North Division got a little more cloudier. Where UNCG looked like it was falling out of the race in the last 15 days, it suddenly found itself back in it after Saturday’s loss. Appalachian State, 4-4 in its last eight games, dropped to 11-6 in the league (16-10 overall). Chattanooga, after beating The Citadel in Charleston, is the same, while UNCG is now 8-7 in league play (14-10 overall). Appalachian State must also play at Davidson still, while UNCG still has to host Chattanooga on February 28.
UNCG point guard Dwayne Johnson had eight assists and just one turnover. It was the 34th time in his career he has had five or more assists in a game, including 11 times this season, and now has 397 assists in his career. Only four Spartans have ever recorded 400 or more assists.
In its worst loss this season, Appalachian State got 12 points from Donte Minter, but he was limited by foul trouble for a good portion of the afternoon, as well. The 6-8 forward played just 25 minutes. Minter came in having scored 20 or more points in three straight games.
“We played a complete game today,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “We’ve talked about trying to do that lately because we have been inconsistent in that regard. We were good offensively, we were good defensively. We didn’t let them get into a lot of transition like they did up there back in January (a 91-68 Mountaineer win). We gave it up a little at the end of the first half, but we came right out to start the second half and picked it back up.”
The Mountaineers, who lost at Fleming for the fourth straight year, were their own worst enemy as UNCG built a 10-point lead midway through the half. Three turnovers in a span of 90 seconds by Appalachian State – raising their total to nine over the first 10 minutes – helped UNCG get out to a 21-11 lead.
After both big men - Hines and Minter picked up their second fouls, the Spartans continued to stretch the lead. UNCG led 30-16 when Mountaineer coach Houston Fancher decided he had to take the chance and send Minter back out for the final four minutes of the half. That move seemed to get the offense started as the Mountaineers closed the half out by making three of their final four from the field and cut the deficit to 35-26 at the break.
UNCG played a span of 7:35 without Hines in the first half due to his two fouls. He left with UNCG leading 21-12 and came back just briefly in the final minute in a quick offense-to-defense substitution. Instead, it was Stywall who did the damage, finishing the first half with 12 points and seven rebounds. That, along with 14 Appalachian State turnovers in the first half, helped UNCG overcome 2-for-8 shooting from behind the arc in the opening half.
UNCG regained its double-digit lead early in the second half, however. Stywall and Hines got it going quickly as the Spartans scored 12 of the first 17 points of the second half to take a 47-31 lead with 14 minutes to play. The duo hit the first three field goals of the second half to get things rollings
The UNCG run continued from there as the lead hit 20 with 11:40 to play when an inside move by Hines gave the Spartans a 54-34 lead. Appalachian State got to within 17 at 57-40 on two free throws by Donald Mims, but UNCG scored seven straight to open a 19-8 run that pushed the lead back to 28, capped off by a Kendall Toney three-pointer with 3:28 to play.
The 24-point margin equaled UNCG’s biggest win over the Mountaineers. UNCG won by 24 over Appalachian State back in January 2002, 87-63. The Mountaineers hold a 15-13 advantage in the all-time series.
FREE THROWS: Saturday’s sellout crowd of 1,831 marked the third time in the last four home games that Fleming Gym was filled to capacity. UNCG has played in front of seven announced sellouts this season, four of them at home... Mikko Koivisto continued his streak of games with a three-pointer. He now has at least one trey in 17 in a row... During halftime ceremonies, UNCG’s five newest members of the Athletics Hall of Fame, were honored, including Director of Athletics Nelson Bobb. Following the game, Kyle Hines presented the game ball to Bobb, who then joined the team for the alma mater at center court... Hines now has 839 career field goals, which is eighth all-time in SoCon history. In seventh place, NBA legend Jerry West at 843... UNCG avoided three straight home losses in the same season for the first time since 2003-04.
UNCG 79, APPALACHIAN STATE 55
APPALACHIAN STATE (16-12, 11-6)
Donte Minter 4-8 4-4 12; Eduardo Bermudez 2-4 3-5 8; Kellen Brand 1-4 3-4 5; A.J. Highsmith 2-5 0-0 5; Jeremi Booth 2-4 0-0 5; Ryann Abraham 2-5 0-0 5; Donald Sims 1-4 2-2 4; Davis Bowne 2-4 0-0 4; Jeremy Clayton 1-3 1-3 3; Doug Mclaughlin-Williams 1-2 0-0 2; J.R. Archer 0-0 2-2 2; Jay Mcmillan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 15-20 55.
UNCG (14-10, 8-7)
Kyle Hines 11-15 4-6 26; Ben Stywall 5-6 4-6 15; Kendall Toney 5-9 1-2 14; Kevin Oleksiak 1-4 4-7 6; Mikko Koivisto 2-5 0-0 5; Pete Brown 1-3 2-3 4; Daniel Oliver 1-2 2-3 4; Dwayne Johnson 1-6 2-2 4; Davor Galic 0-0 1-2 1; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0; Landon Clement 0-1 0-0 0; Michael Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0; Mike Hardiman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-51 20-31 79.
Halftime: UNCG 35-26. 3-point goals--Appalachian State 4-16 (Ryann Abraham 1-4; Jeremi Booth 1-2; A.J. Highsmith 1-3; Eduardo Bermudez 1-2; Doug Mclaughlin-Williams 0-1; Donald Sims 0-2; Kellen Brand 0-2), UNCG 5-16 (Kendall Toney 3-5; Mikko Koivisto 1-3; Ben Stywall 1-1; Daniel Oliver 0-1; Dwayne Johnson 0-1; Landon Clement 0-1; Kevin Oleksiak 0-3; Kyle Hines 0-1). Fouled out—Appalachian State-Davis Bowne, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Appalachian State 25 (Jeremy Clayton 6), UNCG 32 (Ben Stywall 9). Assists--Appalachian State 10 (Jeremy Clayton 4; Donald Sims 4), UNCG 10 (Dwayne Johnson 8). Total fouls—Appalachian State 29, UNCG 21. Technical fouls--Appalachian State-None, UNCG-None. A-1831
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