CHATTANOOGA, TN – Chattanooga hit 14 3-pointers, including six by Stephen McDowell, on its way to a 78-73 win over UNC Greensboro in Southern Conference men’s basketball action on Thursday night.
The Mocs (11-5) won for the seventh time in their last eight games and remained unbeaten in the league at 6-0. UNCG had a six-game winning streak snapped and fell to 9-5 overall and 3-2 in the league.
Mikko Koivisto led the way for UNCG with 20 points, 18 of them in the second half. Kendall Toney had 14 of his 17 points in the second half, as well.
UNCG’s Kyle Hines had his seventh double-double of the season and the 38th of his career. He finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Hines, who also had four blocked shots extended his nation’s longest double figure scoring streak to 64 straight games. For the 30th time in the 64 games, he extended it before halftime.
The Mocs shot 50 percent from the floor for the game, including 14-for-26 from behind the three-point arc. After going 1-for-12 from three-point range in the first half, UNCG was 11-for-22 from behind the arc in the second half.
Trailing by 11 with 13:01 to play, the Spartans mounted a series of comebacks. Seven of UNCG’s 11 second-half treys came in the final 13:01 as the Spartans rallied. Down 64-57 with 6:31 to play, Hines converted a conventional three-point play to start a 12-3 run that tied the game, 67-67. Toney capped the run with consecutive three-pointers.
After a pair of Kevin Bridgewaters free throws, Koivisto knocked down a trey with 1:42 left to give UNCG the lead, 70-69. Bridgewaters answered with a three of his own, but Toney followed that up to give the Spartans the lead right back, 73-72, with 1:13 left.
But that was UNCG’s last points of the night. Kevin Goffney gave the Mocs the lead with 55 seconds left on a lay-up. After a Hines miss, the Spartans got the ball back. Toney’s three-pointer was two-thirds of the way down and rattled out with 35 seconds left and UNCG was forced to foul.
Goffney missed the front end of the one-and-one, but the rebound was long and went to Chattanooga. Watts was then fouled with 27.1 seconds to play, who made both free throws to make it 76-73.
Toney missed on the next possession from three, but the door was left open a crack again when Niccheaus Doaks missed the front end of a one-and-one. However, Koivisto missed from NBA range and Doaks made a pair with 4.5 seconds left to put it away.
The Spartans opened up an early 11-7 lead behind seven quick points by Ben Stywall. But the Mocs responded with a 14-5 spurt to open up a 21-16 lead and force UNCG to take a timeout with 11:41 left in the half.
The Spartans’ perimeter game, which has been hot during their six-game winning streak, started slowly on Thursday night. UNCG missed 11 of 12 from beyond the three-point arc in the opening half. The offense suffered another setback when point guard Dwayne Johnson picked up his third foul with four minutes left in the opening half.
Chattanooga stretched its lead to seven late in the first half, 33-26. Hines hit a fadeaway jumper from the right side to cut it to five, then came to the other end of the floor and recorded his third block of the half. Daniel Oliver, in place of Johnson, hit a leaner in the lane just before the buzzer to cut the deficit to 33-30 at the break.
Through it all, however, the Spartans had to feel fortunate to only be down three at the break when you considered Chattanooga, a team that averages 8.2 three-pointers per game, made seven in the opening half. That, along with UNCG’s three-point shooting woes in the opening half and 11 first half turnovers by the Spartans, led to a halftime deficit but it could have been a lot worse. Thanks to a near double-double in the first half by Hines (12 points, nine rebounds), the Spartans were closer than they maybe deserved to be.
UNCG’s three-point shooting returned in the early part of the second half for the Spartans and the game became a series of runs. The Mocs ran off 10 straight to take a 55-44 lead with 13 minutes to play, but UNCG responded with an 11-3 run to cut it back to three. Chattanooga ran off six in a row to take it back to nine at 64-55, then the Spartans went on their 12-3 run to tie the game.
UNCG continues its five-game road trip Saturday at Appalachian State. Game time is set for 3 pm.
FREE THROWS: Daniel Oliver left the game after feeling dizzy in the second half. Oliver hit the floor hard on the final shot of the first half. He is day-to-day... UNCG hadn’t won seven in a row since January 1996... the Spartans had only four two-point baskets in the second half... Kevin Oleksiak went 0-for-5 from three point range on Thursday night. He had been 15-for-29 in the previous four games from behind the arc... UNCG is 3-7 all-time at Chattanooga. The Mocs own a 13-8 mark in the all-time series.
CHATTANOOGA 78, UNCG 73
UNCG (9-5, 3-2)
Mikko Koivisto 7-16 0-0 20; Kyle Hines 8-16 1-1 17; Kendall Toney 6-14 0-0 17; Daniel Oliver 3-4 1-2 8; Ben Stywall 2-4 3-4 7; Kevin Oleksiak 1-9 0-0 2; Dwayne Johnson 1-5 0-0 2; Pete Brown 0-1 0-0 0; Landon Clement 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-69 5-7 73.
CHATTANOOGA (11-5, 6-0)
Stephen Mcdowell 8-16 0-0 22; Kevin Bridgewaters 4-7 2-2 14; Matt Gwynne 5-7 0-0 12; Nicchaeus Doaks 4-8 2-3 10; Khalil Hartwell 2-5 2-4 6; Marcus Watts 2-7 2-2 6; Kevin Goffney 2-3 0-1 5; Keyron Sheard 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 28-56 8-12 78.
Halftime: Chattanooga 33-30. 3-point goals--UNCG 12-34 (Mikko Koivisto 6-13; Kendall Toney 5-12; Daniel Oliver 1-2; Kevin Oleksiak 0-5; Dwayne Johnson 0-2), Chattanooga 14-26 (Stephen Mcdowell 6-12; Kevin Bridgewaters 4-7; Matt Gwynne 2-2; Keyron Sheard 1-3; Kevin Goffney 1-2). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--UNCG 37 (Kyle Hines 10), Chattanooga 36 (Marcus Watts 7). Assists--UNCG 19 (Mikko Koivisto 4; Kevin Oleksiak 4; Dwayne Johnson 4), Chattanooga 21 (Marcus Watts 7). Total fouls--UNCG 16, Chattanooga 10. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Chattanooga-None. A-3401
- UNCG -