UNCG closes out regular season with home win over Elon
GREENSBORO, NC – Ben Stywall was 9-of-11 from the field on his way to 23 points as UNC Greensboro defeated Elon, 74-66, in Southern Conference men's basketball action at Fleming Gym on Saturday afternoon.
Kendall Toney added 15 points and Pete Brown chipped in a
career-high 10 points as the Spartans snapped a six-game losing
streak overall and a nine-game skid at Fleming Gym. Ironically, it
may be UNCG's last game at Fleming for some time as the
Spartans move their home slate to the Greensboro Coliseum beginning
Devan Carter had 16 points to lead Elon (10-18, 7-12 SoCon). The Phoenix had four players in double figures with Chris Long adding 14 points.
UNCG, which beat Elon for the sixth straight time, shot 55.3 percent from the field, going 26-for-47 for the afternoon. It was the second time UNCG shot better than 50 percent from the floor against Elon this season and just the fourth time all year. UNCG also committed just 10 turnovers on Saturday, after having committed 11 turnovers in the first meeting last month.
After UNCG (5-24, 4-16) jumped out to a 13-6 lead early on, Elon used an 11-1 run to get back into it and take a 17-16 lead. The game remained tight the rest of the half with neither team gaining more than a three-point advantage. UNCG led 25-22 on Ben Stywall's jumper with 1:45 left before intermission, but Elon responded and a three-pointer by Long gave Elon a 26-25 lead at the break.
The Spartans came out of the locker room with a response of their own in the form of an 12-4 run in the first 4:14 of the second half. Stywall had eight of the 12 points in the run as UNCG took a 37-29 lead.
The Phoenix drew back to within four before back-to-back three-pointers by Toney sparked an 8-0 spurt that pushed the lead to 45-35 with 13 minutes to play.
Elon held the Spartans to just one field goal over a six-minute span as it slowly chipped away at the lead. Ola Atoybei's two free throws with 5:22 to play cut the UNCG lead to just 55-52. But a pair of free throws by Toney preceded his third third trey of the second half and put the Spartans back up by eight with four minutes to go.
The Phoenix weren't about to go away. Long's fourth three-pointer of the afternoon cut the UNCG lead to 66-61 with 1:40 to play. After trading baskets, Brown knocked down a pair of foul shots to make it 70-63. But Elon's Monty Sanders knocked down a trey from the top of the key to make it a four-point game with 57.2 seconds to go.
Setting up full court pressure out of the time out, UNCG broke lose down the floor. Pete Brown was fouled intentionally, but missed both free throws. UNCG got the ball back with 52.1 seconds to play. The Spartans were able to run 30 seconds off the clock as the Phoenix couldn't catch up to foul who they wanted to put on the line and Stywall wound up with an open lay-up.
After an Elon miss, Brown put the exclamation point on the win – a breakaway dunk with nine seconds left that could be the Spartans' last basket at Fleming for a little while.
The Spartans will open the Southern Conference Tournament on Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm. The sixth-seed out of the North Division, UNCG will face either College of Charleston or The Citadel.
UNCG 74, ELON 66
ELON (10-18, 7-12)
Devan Carter 8-14 0-0 16; Chris Long 5-7 0-0 14;Josh Bonney 5-8 0-1 11; Ola Atoyebi 2-5 6-6 10; Adam Constantine 2-4 2-5 6; Drew Spradlin 2-4 0-0 5; Monty Sanders 1-6 0-0 3; Terrance Birdette 0-0 1-2 1; TJ Douglas 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 25-52 9-14 66.
UNCG (5-24, 4-16)
Ben Stywall 9-11 5-7 23; Kendall Toney 5-13 2-2 15; Pete Brown 4-5 2-5 10; Mikko Koivisto 3-7 0-0 9; Montel Smith 1-3 6-6 8; Sean Spooner 3-3 0-0 6; Damian Eargle 1-3 0-0 2; Elhanan Bone 0-1 1-2 1; Mike Hardiman 0-0 0-0 0; DeAngelo Jackson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-47 16-22 74.
Halftime: Elon 26-25. 3-point goals--Elon 7-20 (Chris Long 4-5;, Josh Bonney 1-2; Monty Sanders 1-4; Drew Spradlin 1-3; TJ Douglas 0-4; Devan Carter 0-2), UNCG 6-18 (Mikko Koivisto 3-7; Kendall Toney 3-9; Montel Smith 0-2). Fouled out--Elon-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Elon 25 (Adam Constantine 9), UNCG 27 (Ben Stywall 6; Kendall Toney 6). Assists--Elon 8 (Josh Bonney 4), UNCG 17 (Mikko Koivisto 4; Kendall Toney 4). Total fouls--Elon 19, UNCG 19. Technical fouls--Elon-None, UNCG-None. A-1007
FREE THROWS: UNCG's new chancellor Dr. Linda Brady spent the second half of Saturday's regular season finale with a different kind of front row seat – in the front line of the Blue Crew with the students. Dr. Brady had also visited the Blue Crew during the Davidson game at the Coliseum earlier this season... the Spartans got a season-high 50 points from their bench on Saturday... It was the ninth time in the last 13 meetings that the game was decided by single-digits... Walk-on Sean Spooner got the start at point guard for UNCG. He played 16 minutes and had six points (3-of-3 from the floor) and no turnovers... The Spartans, who have been last in the league in assists for most of the season at around 10 per contest, had 17 assists against Elon on Saturday. UNCG had 18 assists against the Phoenix in the first meeting... UNCG had lost 20 straight games when trailing at the half going back to last season... Damian Eargle played just 14 minutes on Saturday due partially to foul trouble, but was also limited due to illness.
- UNCG -