GREENSBORO, NC – Kendall Toney connected on three key 3-pointers in the second half and All-America candidate Kyle Hines tied his own school record with seven blocked shots to go along with his 35th career double-double as UNC Greensboro rallied for a 75-63 win over Furman in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Saturday night.
They were two of five Spartans in double-figures on Saturday night. Hines led the way with 16 points and 10 rebounds, extending his nation’s longest streak to 58 straight games in double-figures. It was his 90th career game scoring 10 or more points, extending another school record. Hines scored all of his points in the game’s final 26 minutes after being held scoreless until the 5:54 mark of the first half.
Mikko Koivisto added 14 points, while Kevin Oleksiak chipped in 13 points. Toney finished with 10 points, all in the second half. Ben Stywall also scored 10 points, nine of those coming in the opening eight minutes.
“We played better in the second half,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement, who earned his 292nd career win. “I thought we did better defensively in our help and recover. We made it more difficult on them shooting the ball and they missed some open looks, as well. We got more balance in that second half offensively, hitting a couple of three’s and such.”
Hines, a 6-6 senior forward from Sicklerville, NJ, tied the school record that he has equaled twice before. Nathan Popp is the other UNCG player who has recorded seven blocks in a game, achieving it in February 2001. Hines now has 280 blocks in his career, 28 shy of the Southern Conference record.
Furman dropped to 0-8 for the first time since 1944-45. The Paladins, 0-3 in SoCon play, are still winless all-time at Fleming Gym, dropping to 0-7 with Saturday’s loss. UNCG snapped a three-game losing skid to even its record at 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Furman was led by Noah States’ 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Alex Opacic added 13 points. The duo combined to shoot 13-for-25 from the floor. However, the remainder of the Furman squad shot just 13-for-37.
Despite the fact that both teams hadn’t played in at least a week due to final exams, both teams came out hot. The teams combined to make their first six shots from the floor – three on each side. With Hines doubled with two post players on every touch, other players had to step up. As a result, Stywall scored nine of UNCG’s first 16 points and Oleksiak had the other seven. But Furman hung tough, forging an 18-18 tie at the midway point of the first half.
In fact, the Paladins, who came into the game having allowed six of their first seven opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor, were the ones making a good number of their shots in the first half on Saturday night. Furman shot 15-for-33 from the field in the opening half and held a 38-34 advantage at the break.
Furman held onto that lead until Toney’s 3-pointer – just the Spartans’ second of the night – with 14:12 to play gave UNCG a 43-41 lead. The Paladins scored just three points in the first 6:45 of the second half as the Spartans regained the lead.
The lead was still just two when Toney hit another 3 with 6:51 remaining to make it 56-51. Hines then made his statement, blocking a shot – his fifth of the game – grabbing the loose ball and calling time out in a pile-up, then slamming it home on the next offensive possession. That was part of a 9-0 run that gave UNCG its largest lead of the night to that point at nine. Furman got no closer than nine points after that.
After the good shooting first half by the Paladins, UNCG held Furman to just 25 points in the second half and 38 percent shooting from the floor. That coupled with UNCG’s 55 percent shooting in the second half turned the game around.
The Spartans will finish up their exams this week and head north for a game next Saturday at Fordham. Game time is set for 1 pm.
FREE THROWS: Furman played without the services of big man Stanley Jones, who was left back in Greenville after undergoing emergency surgery this past week... Old friends matched up in Saturday night’s tilt. Furman coach Jeff Jackson and UNCG coach Mike Dement served as assistants together for two seasons at Cornell (1983-85)... With the Spartans shooting 1-for-10 from three-point range in the first half on Saturday night, UNCG fell to just 15 percent (9-for-59) from beyond the arc in a six-half span (going back to the second half of the Kent State game). UNCG went 3-for-7 in the second half... Hines now has 1,730 points and 845 rebounds in his quest for 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
UNCG 75, FURMAN 63
FURMAN (0-8, 0-3)
Noah States 7-16 0-0 16; Alex Opacic 6-9 1-2 13; Bobby Austin 3-9 0-0 8; Connor Nolte 3-6 0-1 7; Tony Anderson 3-7 0-0 7; George Brozos 1-3 2-2 5; Jordan Miller 2-9 0-0 5; Darryl Evans 1-3 0-0 2; Emmanuel Perry 0-0 0-0 0; Justin Dehm 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-62 3-5 63.
UNCG (4-4, 1-1)
Kyle Hines 7-12 2-3 16; Mikko Koivisto 3-8 7-7 14; Kevin Oleksiak 4-10 5-5 13; Ben Stywall 4-8 2-4 10; Kendall Toney 3-3 1-3 10; Davor Galic 3-4 1-2 7; Dwayne Johnson 0-3 3-4 3; Landon Clement 0-0 2-2 2; Pete Brown 0-1 0-0 0; Daniel Oliver 0-2 0-0 0; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-51 23-30 75.
Halftime: Furman 38-34. 3-point goals--Furman 8-25 (Bobby Austin 2-4; Noah States 2-5; Connor Nolte 1-3; Tony Anderson 1-4; George Brozos 1-2; Jordan Miller 1-4; Darryl Evans 0-2; Alex Opacic 0-1), UNCG 4-17 (Kendall Toney 3-3; Mikko Koivisto 1-6; Ben Stywall 0-1; Davor Galic 0-1; Dwayne Johnson 0-1; Kevin Oleksiak 0-5). Fouled out--Furman-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Furman 29 (Connor Nolte 6), UNCG 39 (Kyle Hines 10). Assists--Furman 11 (Tony Anderson 4), UNCG 12 (Mikko Koivisto 5). Total fouls--Furman 23, UNCG 14. Technical fouls--Furman-Team, UNCG-None. A-1005
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