Davidson rallies to top UNCG in SoCon thriller
GREENSBORO, NC – Stephen Curry scored a career-high 41 points as Davidson rallied from a 20-point first half deficit to beat UNC Greensboro, 83-78, in Southern Conference men’s basketball action at Fleming Gym on Wednesday night.
Curry’s performance is the 11th game of 40 or more points this season and the second highest scoring total in a game played during the 19-year history of Fleming Gymnasium. Morehead State’s Brett Roberts scored 47 points on November 27, 1991 – UNCG’s first season as an NCAA Division I member.
Curry’s performance offset an outstanding night by UNC Greensboro’s Kyle Hines and Kevin Oleksiak. Hines finished the night with 27 points and 12 rebounds – his 43rd career double-double. Oleksiak knocked down his first seven shots of the night on his way to a 26-point performance.
Jason Richards, after a slow start, chipped in 13 points for the Wildcats (18-6, 16-0), which won their 26th straight SoCon regular season win and their 14th straight win overall this season.
For Curry, it was his 51st straight game scoring in double figures. Hines recorded his 73rd straight game scoring in double digits, the longest in the nation. Curry’s string is second.
The Spartans dropped to 13-10 overall and 7-7 in SoCon play, losing its fourth straight. Five of UNCG’s seven conference losses have come in the final 38 seconds of games.
In the end, Davidson outscored UNCG 40-18 over the final 17 minutes to rally for the win.
The first half was fast and furious, witness the leading scorers at the intermission. Hines had 18 and Oleksiak had 17 for UNCG, while Curry had 18 for Davidson.
Hines wasted no time in extending his streak to 73 straight games in double figures. He needed just 5:30 to score his first 10 points of the night to help the Spartans to a big early lead. UNCG led 14-4 just four minutes into the game, the fourth straight home game that the Spartans got off to a quick start and double-digit lead.
The Wildcats went on 9-4 run to get back into it, but the Spartans stretched the lead back out to 27-16 at the midway point of the half following two Hines free throws. Kevin Oleksiak’s third three-pointer of the night five minutes later gave the Spartans their largest lead to that point, 39-25.
UNCG shot a blistering 70 percent from the floor in the first half. The Spartans led by as many as 20 in the opening half – the largest deficit Davidson has faced this season with the previous being 16 against Duke. It took a Curry three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to pull the Wildcats to within 52-37 at the intermission. Still, the 15-point margin is the largest Davidson has faced this season. But a 19-5 run by the Wildcats was about to erase a good portion of that margin.
The lead was 60-43 when Davidson started to get a little momentum. Jason Richards, who had been quiet all night, made two free throws and then, on Davidson’s next possession, had a runner that looked like it was about to rim out drop down to cut the lead to 13. After both teams missed, Curry knocked down an NBA-range three-pointer from the right wing to give him 23 on the night and force a UNCG timeout with 13:44 to play.
A steal and lay-up by Curry then cut the deficit to eight, capping off a 9-0 run. But the Wildcats weren’t finished as Curry and Richards combined for 34 of Davidson’s 46 second-half points. Curry capped off the wild comeback with a three-pointer with 9:45 to play to tie the game, 65-65. Thirty-six seconds later, he gave Davidson its first lead of the night on a jumper.
The Spartans countered to regain the lead. With the score tied at 69-69, Oleksiak scored five straight to give UNCG a five-point advantage with 6:09 to play. But Davidson scored the next six points to regain the lead.
Folllowing a UNCG turnover with just over a minute to go, Richards converted a conventional three-point play to make it 80-78 with 57 seconds left. Oleksiak missed a runner in the lane on the ensuing possession and UNCG had to foul Richards after the rebound. However, the career 78 percent free throw shooter missed the front end of the bonus, leaving the door open for the Spartans.
After a timeout with 26.1 seconds left, the Spartans gave the ball to Hines to go the length of the floor. The big man was fouled by Richards on the way to the basket, but he missed the front end of the bonus and UNCG had to foul once again.
Max Paulhas Gosselin made the first, but missed the second to leave it a one possession game. However, Dwayne Johnson missed a three-pointer from the right wing with five seconds left and the Spartans dropped their fourth straight.
UNCG will host Appalachian State on Saturday at 3 pm, while Davidson will host Furman at 3 pm. The Spartans and Wildcats will square off again next Tuesday at Belk Arena in Davidson for a 7 pm contest that will be carried live on ESPN2.
FREE THROWS: Davidson’s Thomas Sander was not in uniform due to an undisclosed injury... With his 12 rebounds on Wednesday night, Hines needs just 12 boards to join the select 2,000 point/1,000 rebound club... Davidson has now won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two. The only UNCG win came in the 2005 SoCon Tournament, when Davidson finished the SoCon slate unbeaten at 16-0 and UNCG knocked the Wildcats out in the semifinal round... After the hot shooting first half and holding the lead through the first three minutes of the second half, UNCG had just one field goal over an eight-minute span when the 60-43 advantage turned into a 67-65 deficit.
DAVIDSON 83, UNCG 78
DAVIDSON (18-6, 16-0)
Stephen Curry 14-26 9-9 41; Jason Richards 5-13 6-8 16; Will Archambault 3-6 0-0 7; Bryant Barr 1-3 2-2 5; Andrew Lovedale 1-3 3-4 5; Boris Meno 2-5 1-1 5; Ma Paulhus Gosselin 1-2 1-2 4; Dan Nelms 0-0 0-1 0; Stephen Rossiter 0-3 0-0 0; Brendan Mckillop 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 22-27 83.
UNCG (13-10, 7-7)
Kyle Hines 9-13 9-14 27; Kevin Oleksiak 10-16 1-2 26; Ben Stywall 3-7 6-8 13; Mikko Koivisto 3-10 0-0 9; Dwayne Johnson 1-5 0-1 3; Kendall Toney 0-1 0-0 0; Pete Brown 0-0 0-0 0; Daniel Oliver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-52 16-25 78.
Halftime: UNCG 52-37. 3-point goals--Davidson 7-23 (Stephen Curry 4-11; Ma Paulhus Gosselin 1-2; Bryant Barr 1-2; Will Archambault 1-3; Jason Richards 0-5), UNCG 10-20 (Kevin Oleksiak 5-6; Mikko Koivisto 3-10; Dwayne Johnson 1-2; Ben Stywall 1-1; Kendall Toney 0-1). Fouled out--Davidson-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Davidson 37 (Andrew Lovedale 8), UNCG 32 (Kyle Hines 12). Assists--Davidson 14 (Jason Richards 6), UNCG 12 (Kevin Oleksiak 4). Total fouls--Davidson 20, UNCG 19. Technical fouls--Davidson-None, UNCG-None. A-1831
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