CHARLESTON, SC – The Citadel scored the final 10 points of the game, holding UNC Greensboro scoreless in the final 3:52, to come away with a 66-60 win in Southern Conference men's basketball action Saturday night at McAlister Field House.
Zach Urbanus had 20 points to lead the Bulldogs (13-10, 8-4
SoCon). Demetrius Nelson had 19 points including 13-of-14 at the
free throw line, to go with eight rebounds.
Damian Eargle had 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to lead the Spartans (3-17, 2-9 SoCon). Mikko Koivisto added 14 points, while Ben Stywall chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds and Kendall Toney had 10 points.
Cameron Wells' jumper with 2:13 left broke a 60-60 tie. UNCG's Damian Eargle missed the front end of a one-and-one and Citadel had a chance to extend its lead. But the Bulldogs missed twice to give UNCG the ball back with a minute to play.
Following a UNCG timeout, Montel Smith's three-pointer back-rimmed and the rebound went out off the Spartans with 31.9 seconds left. Smith fouled Urbanus with 27.9 to go, who made both free throws to make it a four-point game.
UNCG's Sean Spooner was fouled on a drive to the basket with 17.9 remaining. He missed both, although the rebound was tapped out to Koivisto. His three-pointer was off target, however, and UNCG had to foul again.
The Spartans held a 42-32 advantage on the glass, including 15 offensive rebounds. But the Bulldogs were 25-of-30 from the foul line compared to UNCG's 12-of-16. The Spartans missed their final six shots from the field and two free throws over the decisive 3-minute, 52-second span.
Neither team got much separation early on. The Citadel had held the lead for the first 11 minutes until a 6-0 spurt by the Spartans gave them their first lead of the night. Stywall capped off the spurt with a put back to make it 20-18.
The Spartans continued to hang close thanks in a big part to their offensive rebounding. UNCG had nine offensive rebounds in the first half for a 21-12 overall margin on the boards. The Bulldogs, however, clung to a 31-30 lead going into the intermission.
An 11-2 run by the Spartans midway through the second half turned a four-point deficit into a five-point lead. A trey by Toney got it started and then Koivisto scored eight straight on a pair of trey and two free throws to give UNCG a 46-41 lead with 11:34 to play.
The Spartans couldn't stretch the lead to more than six, though, and The Citadel came back to tie it up at 54-54 on Zach Urbanus' three-pointer with 6:29 to play.
Koivisto created his own run again, this time scoring six straight to give UNCG a 60-56 lead with 3:30 to play. But four straight free throws by Nelson knotted the game again with 2:53 on the clock.
UNCG returns home to face Davidson at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday night at 7 pm. Pre-game festivities get underway with SpartanFest at 5 pm in the Pavillion.
THE CITADEL 66, UNCG 60
UNCG (3-17, 2-9 SoCon)
Damian Eargle 7-19 4-5 18; Mikko Koivisto 3-10 5-5 14; Ben Stywall 4-7 3-4 11; Kendall Toney 4-7 0-0 10; Montel Smith 2-5 0-0 5; Deangelo Jackson 1-3 0-0 2; Pete Brown 0-2 0-0 0; Sean Spooner 0-2 0-2 0; Daniel Oliver 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 12-16 60.
THE CITADEL (13-10, 8-4 SoCon)
Zach Urbanus 5-14 6-6 20; Demetrius Nelson 3-9 13-14 19; Cameron Wells 5-10 3-4 15; Bryan Streeter 2-3 0-2 4; Austin Dahn 1-8 0-0 3; John Brown 1-1 0-0 2; Cosmo Morabbi 0-4 2-2 2; Matt Clark 0-1 1-2 1; Jonathan Brick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-50 25-30 66.
Halftime: The Citadel 31-30. 3-point goals--UNCG 6-16 (Mikko Koivisto 3-9; Kendall Toney 2-4; Montel Smith 1-3), The Citadel 7-22 (Zach Urbanus 4-9; Cameron Wells 2-2; Austin Dahn 1-7; Cosmo Morabbi 0-4). Fouled out--UNCG-None, The Citadel-John Brown. Rebounds--UNCG 42 (Ben Stywall 7; Damian Eargle 7), The Citadel 32 (Demetrius Nelson 8). Assists--UNCG 9 (Mikko Koivisto 3), The Citadel 11 (Zach Urbanus 4). Total fouls--UNCG 20, The Citadel 15. Technicalfouls--UNCG-TEAM, The Citadel-None. A-1640
FREE THROWS: Sean Spooner got his second straight start on Saturday night. Pete Brown and Kendall Toney also got the nod to the starting lineup. With Spooner earning his second start of the year, 11 of 12 Spartans on the active roster have started multiple games... Eargle is now averaging 14.8 points over the last six games. He has scored in double figures in four straight games... The Citadel started the second half 3-for-17 from the floor, but made 5 of their last 10 to close out the game. In addition, the Bulldogs were 16-of-20 from the line in the second half... UNCG has lost 16 straight when trailing at the half dating back to last season
- UNCG -