GREENSBORO, NC - Kevin Goffney had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Chattanooga past UNC Greensboro, 72-54, in Southern Conference men's basketball action at Fleming Gym on Thursday night.
Goffney hit 10-of-20 shots from the floor to lead the Mocs (9-10, 5-3 SoCon) to their fifth straight win and first place in the Southern Conference's North Division. Coupled with Western Carolina's loss at The Citadel, the Mocs hold a half-game lead in the topsy-turvey Northern half of the league.
Landon Clement led the way for a shorthanded UNCG squad with 17
points. Ben Stywall chipped in with 11 points, his seventh straight
game scoring in double figures.
The Spartans (3-13, 2-5) were able to hang around by defending Chattanooga's three-point threats well. The Mocs, who entered the game shooting 35.6 percent from behind the arc and making 8.8 per game, were just 2-for-19 from three-point range, missing 14 in a row from behind the arc. But UNCG was just 8-of-19 from the free throw line in the second half and Chattanooga was able to slowly get some separation in the second half.
UNCG held Chattanooga's leading scorer Stephen McDowell to just eight points in the game and snapped his streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer. McDowell had made at least one three-pointer in 39 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the nation. McDowell came into the game averaging 20.1 points per game.
Due to injury and illness the Spartans had a short bench with only eight scholarship players in uniform. That got compounded by the fact that Damian Eargle picked up two fouls in the first 2:17 of the contest and Ben Stywall picked up three before the game was eight minutes old.
The Spartans hung in though with a strong defensive effort for most of the first half and the half became a series of runs. Chattanooga went six minutes between field goals. That helped UNCG offset an early 6-0 Mocs spurt with a 13-2 run of its own to hold a 20-16 lead with seven minutes to play before the intermission.
The Mocs went back to their trapping defense and turned up the heat with 11 straight points, five of them by Goffney, to open up a seven-point lead. Consecutive treys by Landon Clement and Kendall Toney, though, began a 10-1 spurt for UNCG to give them the lead again, 30-28, only to see the Mocs close out the half with nine straight points.
UNCG had just two field goals in the first nine minutes of the second half as Chattanooga slowly stretched the lead to 14, 51-37.
UNCG returns to action on Saturday afternoon when Samford visits Fleming Gym for the first time as a Southern Conference member. Game time is set for 2 pm.
CHATTANOOGA 72, UNCG 54
CHATTANOOGA (9-10, 5-3)
Kevin Goffney 10-20 1-1 21; Khalil Hartwell 4-4 4-7 12; Keyron Sheard 3-6 4-5 11; Nicchaeus Doaks 4-6 1-3 9; Stephen Mcdowell 1-9 6-6 8; Ty Patterson 1-5 2-2 4; Jeremy Saffore 1-2 2-2 4; Jasper Williams 1-3 0-0 3; Ricky Taylor 0-0 0-0 0; Jeff Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Zach Ferrell 0-0 0-0 0; Chris Early 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 20-26 72.
UNCG (3-13, 2-5)
Landon Clement 5-13 4-5 17; Ben Stywall 3-7 5-8 11; Kendall Toney 3-15 0-0 9; Damian Eargle 3-4 0-6 6; Deangelo Jackson 1-5 2-2 4; Sean Spooner 1-2 2-2 4; Pete Brown 1-1 0-0 2; Montel Smith 0-1 1-2 1; Mike Hardiman 0-1 0-0 0; Daniel Oliver 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 17-52 14-25 54.
Halftime: Chattanooga 37-30. 3-point goals--Chattanooga 2-19 (Jasper Williams 1-2; Keyron Sheard 1-2; Nicchaeus Doaks 0-1; Stephen Mcdowell 0-7; Ty Patterson 0-3; Chris Early 0-1; Kevin Goffney 0-3), UNCG 6-24 (Landon Clement 3-9; Kendall Toney 3-13; Sean Spooner 0-1; Daniel Oliver 0-1). Fouled out--Chattanooga-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Chattanooga 44 (Nicchaeus Doaks 13), UNCG 33 (Kendall Toney 5). Assists--Chattanooga 9 (Ty Patterson 5), UNCG 11 (Daniel Oliver 3; Ben Stywall 3; Kendall Toney 3). Total fouls--Chattanooga 22, UNCG 20. Technical fouls--Chattanooga-None, UNCG-None. A-968
FREE THROWS: UNCG opened a stretch of three games in five days on Thursday night... Leading scorer Mikko Koivisto woke up Thursday morning with a flu bug and did not dress for the game. Coupled with Elhanan Bone's sore shoulder, it lead Mike Dement with eight scholarship players in uniform. With Kendall Toney getting the starting nod, it also equated to the 11th different starting lineup of the season for UNCG... The Spartans left points out there early in the second half that could have changed things considerably, missing seven of eight from the line in the first 5:30 of the second half. Around that time, UNCG trailed by 7-to-9 points.
- UNCG -