NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Kyle Hines scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, including 13 in a row at one point, to lift UNC Greensboro past Appalachian State, 63-46, in the quarterfinal round of the 2008 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.
Hines, who recorded his 45th career double-double and 14t h of the season, also had 10 rebounds and five blocks in the game. In the process, he also extended his nation’s best double figure scoring string to 80 consecutive games. A career 59 percent free throw shooter, Hines was a perfect 8-for-8 from the line on Saturday, all in the second half. He converted four conventional three-point plays in the final 20 minutes.
UNCG (19-11) advances to face Davidson on Sunday at 6 pm in the semifinal round. The Wildcats handled Wofford, 82-49, in the day’s first quarterfinal match-up. Sunday’s game will be televised by SportSouth.
Kendall Toney was the only other Spartan in double figures, finishing with 10 key points. He scored all of those in the first half as UNCG’s offense sputtered at times. Still, the Spartans managed a seven-point halftime lead with Toney leading the way.
Appalachian State (18-13) got 13 points from Jeremy Clayton and 12 from Kellen Brand. The Mountaineers were hurt by 2-for-9 free throw shooting, while UNCG was a perfect 13-for-13 at the charity stripe. UNCG also held a 38-33 advantage on the glass, including a 24-15 rebounding advantage in the second half.
“We played a really good game (today),” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “We didn’t play well here last year (in a quarterfinal loss to Furman). We got off to a similar start, missing shots against a good defense. We were fortunate to get (Donte) Minter into foul trouble and I think that Kyle and Ben (Stywall) did a good job of making moves and taking it to the basket. Kyle was in foul trouble and there were a couple of key defensive possessions, key turnovers that kept us in the game. We got couple of defensive rebounds and were able to make a few runs from our rebounding.”
Defense was the theme at the outset as the team’s combined for just three field goals in the first five minutes of the contest. In fact, in the first eight minutes of the contest, the Mountaineers missed eight of 11 from the floor and UNCG missed 10 out of 12. Eventually, the teams found a rhythm, UNCG first by scoring eight straight points to erase a 7-2 deficit.
Appalachian State led 16-15 with 6:20 left in the half before the Spartans scored 13 straight, sparked by a Landon Clement three-pointer. The Mountaineers went more than five minutes without a field goal before they scored the last five points of the half. Despite Hines behind held to a first-half season-low four points in the first 20 minutes and UNCG not attempting a first half free throw, the Spartans still held a 28-21 advantage heading to the locker room.
Defense took over again to open the second half. The Mountaineers went the first 5:40 without a field goal, but UNCG only managed two themselves to stretch its lead back to 12 at 33-21.
UNCG, which won its fifth straight and sixth in the last seven games, maintained that margin for a while as Hines scored 13 straight points, including three conventional three-point plays. Midway through the second half, though, the Mountaineers went on a 9-2 run. After ASU recorded just four field goals over a 16-minute span, five straight points by Jeremy Clayton cut the Spartan lead to 40-34 with 8:22 to play.
But UNCG had an answer and it began with Hines. The third of the three three-point plays took the margin back to nine and began an 11-2 burst for UNCG. The run was capped off by another conventional three-point play by Hines, on which Appalachian State’s big man Donte Minter fouled out with 5:29 to play. That left UNCG with a 51-36 lead and ASU never got closer than 13 after that.
For the game, Appalachian State’s shot 35.7 percent from the floor. During the two regular season meetings, the Mountaineers shot 51.5 percent from the floor. Their 46 points were the lowest ASU has had in a conference tournament game.
FREE THROWS: Saturday’s game was the first-ever postseason meeting between the two schools. UNCG is now 14-15 all-time against the Mountaineers... The last time UNCG went without a first half free throw attempt was the 2002 Southern Conference title game – a loss to Davidson... It took a while to get one, but Mikko Koivisto’s three-pointer to extend his streak to 23 straight games was a big one. He knocked his first down with 6:42 to play, giving UNCG a 12-point lead as Appalachian State was making a run at the Spartans... UNCG’s 19th win gave them the most for the program since 2001-02, when they won 20 on the way to an NIT bid.
UNCG 63, APPALACHIAN STATE 46
Kyle Hines 6-13 8-8 20; Kendall Toney 4-7 0-0 10; Ben Stywall 4-9 0-0 9; Mikko Koivisto 2-3 3-3 8; Dwayne Johnson 1-3 2-2 5; Kevin Oleksiak 2-9 0-0 4; Landon Clement 1-2 0-0 3; Davor Galic 1-2 0-0 2; Daniel Oliver 1-3 0-0 2; Pete Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 13-13 63.
APPALACHIAN STATE (18-13)
Jeremy Clayton 6-11 1-4 13; Kellen Brand 5-11 0-1 12; Donald Sims 3-10 0-0 8; Eduardo Bermudez 3-6 1-2 7; Donte Minter 2-7 0-0 4; Ryann Abraham 1-4 0-2= 2; Davis Bowne 0-1 0-0 0; Doug Mclaughlin-Williams 0-4 0-0 0; Isaac Butts 0-2 0-0 0; A.J. Highsmith 0-0 0-0 0; Jay Mcmillan 0-0 0-0 0; Jeremi Booth 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-57 2-9 46.
Halftime: UNCG 28-21. 3-point goals--UNCG 6-19 (Kendall Toney 2-5; Mikko Koivisto 1-2; Landon Clement 1-2; Ben Stywall 1-2; Dwayne Johnson 1-2; Daniel Oliver 0-1; Davor Galic 0-1; Kevin Oleksiak 0-3; Kyle Hines 0-1), Appalachian State 4-14 (Kellen Brand 2-2; Donald Sims 2-5; Ryann Abraham 0-2; Doug Mclaughlin-Williams 0-2; Jeremi Booth 0-1; Eduardo Bermudez 0-2). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Appalachian State-Donte Minter. Rebounds--UNCG 38 (Kyle Hines 10), Appalachian State 33 (Jeremy Clayton 7; Eduardo Bermudez 7). Assists—UNCG 13 (Kevin Oleksiak 5), Appalachian State 6 (Eduardo Bermudez 2; Donte Minter 2). Total fouls--UNCG 15, Appalachian State 15. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Appalachian State-None. A-4289
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