UNCG knocked out of SoCon Tourney by College of Charleston
CHATTANOOGA, TN – Junior forward Ben Stywall led the way with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds, but a late UNC Greensboro rally fell short as College of Charleston knocked the Spartans out of the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, 69-56, in opening round action Friday afternoon.
Jeremy Simmons had 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench to
the lead the Cougars (24-7). Simmons was a perfect 8-for-8 from the
floor on the afternoon and was one of four Cougars scoring in
double figures. Tony White, Jr. added 15 points.
Pete Brown added a career-high 12 points for UNCG (5-25), his second straight game in double figures. The junior from Emerson, NJ was 6-for-7 from the floor.
"The game was identical to the other games that we played with them," said UNCG coach Mike Dement. "We let them get ahead early and we had to fight back. College of Charleston is a very athletic, quick team. They have a superb offensive rebounding team.
"We couldn't score early," said Dement. "They wanted to come in and knock us off early and we were forced to fight from behind the whole game."
The Spartans struggled to get their backcourt going offensively right from the outset. UNCG's guards did not score in the first 17:48 as the frontcourt scored the first 15 points for the Spartans. Leading scorer Mikko Koivisto didn't even attempt a field goal in the first 15:58 of the game. Koivisto finally got loose on a cut down the lane for the first basket by a guard with 2:12 left.
A 13-4 run by the Cougars gave them a 27-13 advantage with 5:47 left in the opening half, forcing UNCG to burn a timeout. The run was capped off by Jermaine Johnson's putback, as four different Cougars scored during the burst. The Cougars led by as many as 18 in the opening half, but Kendall Toney's trey at the buzzer pulled UNCG to within 37-23 at the break.
Three-pointers by Andrew Goudelock and Tony White, Jr. to open the second half extended the Cougar advantage to 20 points in the first 2:49 of the second half. But the Spartans chipped away as the Cougars went nearly five minutes with a field goal. Stywall's drive down the lane to make it 52-40 with 11:46 to play. That was part of a 10-0 run for the Spartans that cut a 20-point deficit in half with 9:30 to play.
The Spartans, however, couldn't get over the hump and get the margin to single-digits. The Spartans were hurt by College of Charleston's 23 offensive rebounds.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 69, UNCG 56
Ben Stywall 7-20 7-11 21; Pete Brown 6-7 0-0 12; Mikko Koivisto 3-6 0-0 8; Kendall Toney 2-6 0-0 5; Deangelo Jackson 2-3 0-0 4; Elhanan Bone 1-4 0-0 2; Montel Smith 0-7 2-2 2; Damian Eargle 0-5 2-4 2; Mike Hardiman 0-2 0-0 0; Sean Spooner 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 21-65 11-17 56.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (24-7)
Jeremy Simmons 8-8 2-5 18; Tony White Jr 4-9 4-6 15; Andrew Goudelock 5-14 0-0 12; Dustin Scott 4-7 2-6 10; Jermaine Johnson 4-7 0-0 8; Donavan Monroe 0-8 2-3 2; Marcus Hammond 0-1 2-4 2; Antwaine Wiggins 1-9 0-0 2; Garrett Campbell 0-0 0-0 0; Matt Sundberg 0-1 0-0 0; Quasim Pugh 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-64 12-24 69.
Halftime: College of Charleston 37-23. 3-point goals--UNCG 3-13 (Mikko Koivisto 2-4; Kendall Toney 1-5; Montel Smith 0-3; Sean Spooner 0-1), College of Charleston 5-21 (Tony White Jr 3-7; Andrew Goudelock 2-7; Donavan Monroe 0-2; Marcus Hammond 0-1; Antwaine Wiggins 0-3; Matt Sundberg 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-Sean Spooner, College of Charleston-None. Rebounds--UNCG 41 (Ben Stywall 11), College of Charleston 49 (Dustin Scott 16). Assists--UNCG 10 (Mikko Koivisto 2; Sean Spooner 2; Ben Stywall 2; Montel Smith 2), College of Charleston 16 (Donavan Monroe 7). Total fouls--UNCG 18, College of Charleston 15. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, College of Charleston-None. A-2586
FREE THROWS: It was the first ever meeting between the Cougars and Spartans in the postseason. The only remaining teams UNCG has not met before in the conference tourney are first-year member Samford and The Citadel... UNCG entered Friday's game with a 10-10 mark all-time in 11 SoCon Tournaments... The double-double was Stywall's eight of the year, six of which came against Southern Conference foes... Damian Eargle was limited somewhat on Friday after battling a viral infection for the last 10 days.
- UNCG -