Hines' 26 points leads UNCG past Chattanoga, keeps title hopes alive
GREENSBORO, NC – Kyle Hines, on the night he had his number No. 42 retired, finished with a game-high 26 points to lead UNC Greensboro to an 87-64 win over Chattanooga at Fleming Gym on Thursday night.
Hines, the All-America candidate from Sicklerville, NJ, played just 28 minutes after suffering a cut midway through the second half. However, he went 9-for-15 from the floor and an uncharacteristic 8-for-8 at the free throw line to lead UNCG to their third straight win and keep their Northern Division title hopes alive for a little bit longer. Hines scored in double figures for the 78th straight game, the longest current streak in the nation. He extended the streak before half for the 39th time in the nearly three-season run.
A UNCG win on Monday night coupled with losses by Appalachian State and Chattanooga on Saturday would give the Spartans the SoCon North Division title. But for now, UNCG will be happy with its third straight win.
“We played a great game, obviously we were very inspired,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement, who picked up his 100th win at UNCG’s head coach. “We played hard and had a lot of passion.”
Appalachian State will host Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Elon hosts Chattanooga on Saturday. UNCG will host Western Carolina at 7 pm Monday in the absolute last game of the SoCon regular season.
“I felt a little bit of pressure (playing right after having his number retired). But it was fun to play in front of family and friends,” said Hines, who was joined in pre-game ceremonies by his mother, father and sister. “Then it was just a fun game. You had no choice but to have a good time out there.”
Mikko Koivisto added 22 points for the Spartans (17-11, 11-8), extended his streak to 21 straight game with a three-pointer by going 6-for-11 from three-point range. Kevin Oleksiak added 18 points for the Spartans.
Marcus Watts had a career-high 22 points for the Mocs (17-12, 12-7) in 25 minutes of action. Nicchaeus Doaks added 17 points for Chattanooga. The Mocs, who shoot 35 percent from three-point range for the season, were limited to just 5-of-19 shooting from three-point range.
For the fifth time in their last six home games, the Spartans hot off to a quick start. Picking up where they left off against College of Charleston on Monday, when UNCG went 16-for-19 from the floor in the second half for a school record 84 percent. Oleksiak’s trey gave UNCG a 21-7 lead and put the Spartans at 9-for-11 from the floor to open Thursday’s contest.
Koivisto knocked down a trey then stole the ball at mid-court and got fouled on his way to the basket. After sinking a pair of free throws, UNCG had a 28-9 lead and the game was barely eight minutes old.
The Spartans eventually cooled down, scoring just 12 points in the next 12 minutes, but still headed to the locker room with a 16-point cushion, 40-24.
The Mocs looked like they were starting to make a run with about 13 minutes to play, cutting UNCG’s 19-point lead to 13 and forcing UNCG into a timeout. But Kevin Oleksiak was fouled on a three-point shot and banked home the free throw to convert the four-point play and take away the momentum.
On the night that Hines had his number retired, he needed a little help from his friends midway through the second half. Hines got taken to the training room for stitches with 12 minutes left getting popped in the cheek on a foul call. Making matters worse, fellow front court mate Pete Brown was on the bench, leaving the game due to a stomach bug.
“We got to a point where we were just looking for bodies,” said Dement. “We have a few guys with a bug running through and they got dehydrated. Then Kyle gets popped and has to go get fixed up. But we got a big lift from Landon Clement and got through it just gobbling up a few minutes here and there.”
Hines was back about five minutes later, but the Spartans had actually increased the lead to 20, 72-52, when he returned. When he left, UNCG led 55-38 with 12:14 to play. But the freshman Clement came off the bench scored eight of UNCG’s next 10 points to boost that margin to 23, beginning with two free throws in place of Hines. Fleming Gym erupted, Hines was getting stitches, and the Mocs never got back within 20.
FREE THROWS: The athletic training staff may be taking donations for trainer Aaron Terranova after Thursday’s game. Terranova was the lonliest man in the world when Hines went to the training room for stitches, left on the bench with cell phone in hand while team doctors tried to get Hines ready for play again. Terranova had to have made at least 10 calls – one for every time Coach Mike Dement turned and said “where is he?”... Oleksiak is now 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career... The official count of family and friends making the trip from New Jersey for Hines was 27. His brother, Tyler, was not in that group however, remaining in New Jersey for a state tournament game, which Timber Creek came out victorious.
UNCG 87, CHATTANOOGA 64
CHATTANOOGA (17-12, 12-7)
Marcus Watts 7-12 5-7 22; Nicchaeus Doaks 8-12 1-1 17; Matt Gwynne 3-6 0-0 7; Qavotstaraj Waddell 2-2 1-2 5; Stephen Mcdowell 1-12 0-0 3; Jeff Smith 1-4 0-1 2; Keyron Sheard 1-2 0-0 2; Khalil Hartwell 1-2 0-0 2; Stephen Mcclellan 0-1 2-3 2; Kevin Goffney 1-3 0-2 2; Zach Farrell 0-0 0-0 0; Jeremy Saffore 0-2 0-0 0; Kevin Bridgewaters 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-60 9-16 64.
UNCG (17-11, 11-8)
Kyle Hines 9-15 8-8 26; Mikko Koivisto 6-12 4-4 22; Kevin Oleksiak 5-9 6-7 18; Landon Clement 2-2 2-2 8; Dwayne Johnson 2-5 0-0 4; Davor Galic 1-4 0-1 2; Pete Brown 0-2 2-2 2; Kendall Toney 1-6 0-0 2; Ben Stywall 1-1 0-0 2; Mike Hardiman 0-0 1-2 1; Michael Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0; Daniel Oliver 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-57 23-26 87.
Halftime: UNCG 40-24. 3-point goals--Chattanooga 5-19 (Marcus Watts 3-4; Stephen Mcdowell 1-9; Matt Gwynne 1-2; Jeff Smith 0-1; Stephen Mcclellan 0-1; Kevin Goffney 0-1; Nicchaeus Doaks 0-1), UNCG 10-25 (Mikko Koivisto 6-11; Kevin Oleksiak 2-4; Landon Clement 2-2; Kendall Toney 0-4; Daniel Oliver 0-1; Davor Galic 0-1; Dwayne Johnson 0-1; Kyle Hines 0-1). Fouled out--Chattanooga-Qavotstaraj Waddell, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Chattanooga 41 (Marcus Watts 6), UNCG 33 (Ben Stywall 6). Assists--Chattanooga 10 (Marcus Watts 3; Kevin Bridgewaters 3), UNCG 18 (Kevin Oleksiak 5). Total fouls--Chattanooga 26, UNCG 20. Technical fouls--Chattanooga-None, UNCG-None. A-1516
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