Huge first half lifts UNCG to win over Elon, 89-60
GREENSBORO, NC – Kyle Hines had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Dwayne Johnson had a season-high 17 points as UNC Greensboro sprinted past archrival Elon, 89-60, in front of a capacity crowd at Fleming Gym on Saturday afternoon.
Hines, a senior from Sicklerville, NJ, who scored in double figures for the 100th time in his career on Saturday, recorded his 41st career double-double, as well, logging it with 1:51 remaining in the opening half. He nearly moved to within 50 points and 50 rebounds from the illustrious 2,000 point / 1,000 rebound club, finishing the day at 1,951 career points and 947 career rebounds. He also had two blocks to raise his career total to 307, one shy of the Southern Conference’s career record held by Western Carolina’s Rans Brempong.
Johnson, a senior guard from Queens, NY, scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half. It was just the sixth time in 106 career games that Johnson scored in double-figures, playing quite possibly the best game of his career. He also added five assists.
“It is the best I have seen Dwayne Johnson play in my three seasons here,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “Every good team in the Southern Conference over the last few years has had a great scoring point guard. Today, Dwayne Johnson was a great scoring point guard.
“We played with a lot of energy right from the outset I thought today. We hadn’t been home in a long time and I think that helped, but we had a lot of energy right out of the game and jumped out quickly. (Ben) Stywall got a couple of quick baskets and then other guys got into the act. Defensively, we were strong early and that led to our transition game getting going.”
Sophomore Mikko Koivisto also had 17 points for the Spartans (13-6, 7-3), including the 100th three-pointer of his career. It was UNCG’s fourth straight win and 10th in its last 12 games.
Brett James led three Elon players in double figures with 17 points. Brian Waters and Montell Watson each had 10 for Elon (7-14, 5-8), which lost its last fifth straight.
Entering Saturday’s game, nine of the last 11 meetings between UNCG and Elon had been decided by single digits, including a 61-57 win by UNCG two weeks ago at Elon. Saturday’s battle between two schools just 19 miles apart was the most lopsided, however, since an Elon 30-point win in the 1974-75 campaign.
The Spartans, playing at home for the first time since January 7 after five consecutive road games, jumped all over the Phoenix at the outset. In the first 5:09 of the contest, UNCG made 8-of-11 from the floor and jumped out to a 17-6 lead. UNCG scored on 19 of its first 23 possessions.
Meanwhile, Elon suffered from what UNCG suffered from in the first meeting – only one person scoring. The Phoenix got 12 of their first 14 points from Brett James. In the first 13 minutes, the remainder of the Phoenix’ roster shot just 1-for-13.
UNCG ran away from there, taking a 23-point lead on Kyle Hines’ bucket that extended his nation’s best double-figure scoring streak to 69 straight. Hines’ 10th point of the afternoon with 6:25 left in the first half gave the Spartans a 39-16 lead.
From there, the Spartans stretched the lead out to 30 at the intermission, capped off by a breakaway dunk by Hines just before the final horn. The 51 points scored by UNCG were the most since December 16, 2004. The 30-point halftime lead was UNCG’s largest since December 2, 1985 – when the Spartans played in the old Park Gym (which no longer exists and is now the site of a new academic building).
The Spartans cruised from there as Elon didn’t get the margin under 30 until the final two minutes. UNCG was over 60 percent from the floor until the final minute, long after the bench had been emptied, and finished the day at 59.6 percent from the floor. Elon shot just 39 percent from the floor. UNCG also had a 38-25 advantage in the rebounding department, including 24-9 in the opening half.
UNCG travels to Georgia Southern for a 7:30 pm contest on Monday night.
FREE THROWS: Freshman guard Landon Clement did not dress for Saturday’s game. Clement suffered an ankle injury in the final minutes of Thursday night’s practice. He did not practice Friday and, therefore, sat out Saturday. He is listed as probable for Monday’s game at Georgia Southern... The answer to three trivia questions created by Saturday’s lopsided first half: the opponent back on Dec. 2, 1985, was Piedmont Bible; the site of Park Gym is now home to the Moore Humanities and Research Building on the UNCG campus, which opened in the Fall of 2006 at the cost of $16.9 million; the only Spartan born before Dec. 2, 1985 – Kevin Oleksiak, who was just seven weeks old.
UNCG 89, ELON 60
ELON (7-14, 5-8)
Brett James 8-13 0-0 17; Montell Watson 4-8 0-0 10; Brian Waters 3-9 4-5 10; Tj Douglas 3-7 1-1 9; Adam Constantine 3-6 2-4 8; Ola Atoyebi 1-3 0-0 2; Devan Carter 0-3 2-2 2; Chris Long 0-5 2-4 2; Scott Grable 0-1 0-0 0; Monty Sanders 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 11-16 60.
UNCG (13-6, 7-3)
Kyle Hines 10-15 1-2 21; Dwayne Johnson 6-7 3-4 17; Mikko Koivisto 6-10 3-3 17; Ben Stywall 4-7 4-7 12; Kevin Oleksiak 3-6 2-2 8; Kendall Toney 2-5 1-2 6; Pete Brown 1-1 0-0 2; Michael Mitchell 1-2 0-0 2; Mike Hardiman 1-1 0-0 2; Davor Galic 0-1 2-3 2; Daniel Oliver 0-2 0-0 0; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-57 16-23 89.
Halftime: UNCG 51-21. 3-point goals--Elon 5-17 (Tj Douglas 2-6; Montell Watson 2-5; Brett James 1-3; Devan Carter 0-1; Brian Waters 0-2), UNCG 5-13 (Mikko Koivisto 2-5; Dwayne Johnson 2-2; Kendall Toney 1-3; Daniel Oliver 0-1; Kevin Oleksiak 0-2). Fouled out--Elon-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Elon 25 (Adam Constantine 8), UNCG 38 (Kyle Hines 11). Assists--Elon 8 (Montell Watson 3), UNCG 19 (Dwayne Johnson 5). Total fouls--Elon 19, UNCG 15. Technical fouls--Elon-None, UNCG-None. A-1831
- UNCG -