DAVIDSON, N.C. - Brendan McKillop's three-pointer from the right wing with 27.7 seconds to play broke a 56-56 tie as Davidson held off UNC Greensboro, 60-56 in Southern Conference men's basketball action at Belk Arena on Wednesday night.
Davidson, which had 11 three-point field goals and nine two-point field goals in the game, was led by J.P. Kuhlman's 14 points. Jake Cohen added 13 points and Will Archambault had 11 points.
UNCG (6-22, 5-12) got outstanding performances by freshmen Kyle Randall and Brian Cole and senior Kendall Toney. On a night when leading scorer and rebounder Ben Stywall was plagued with foul trouble throughout and limited to one point and three rebounds, the trio stepped up and nearly brought UNCG its first win at Belk since 2001.
Toney led the way for the Spartans with 16 points, including his 200th career three-pointer, while Randall finished the night with 15 points and seven rebounds. Cole, seeing extended minutes because of Stywall's foul trouble, had 14 points and was 5-of-8 from the floor.
The Wildcats had scored 14 of the last 18 points when Randall hit a soft jumper to pull the Spartans back to within a point at 53-52 with 3:32 to play. But coming out of a media timeout, McKillop drained a three-pointer from NBA range on the right wing to push the lead back to four.
With Davidson leading 56-54 and the shot clock winding down, Archambault's jumper was short of the rim. Cohen's follow hit the bottom of the rim to reset the shot clock and came right back to Cohen, sprawled out on the floor. He quickly called a timeout with 1:14 to play. But Randall came up big once again, stealing the ball on the ensuing possession and going coast-to-coast to tie the game at 56-56.
The Wildcats committed an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers, which UNCG converted into 20 points. In contrast, UNCG had a season-low six turnovers, bettering the mark of seven that it had in Saturday's win at The Citadel.
On its Senior Night, Davidson came out inspired and jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the game's first three minutes, which included the Wildcats grabbing the first rebounds of the night, as well. The Spartans gained their footing defensively, holding Davidson without a field goal for more the five minutes. But UNCG struggled to get things going offensively still, missing seven of their first eight from the floor.
With Stywall on the bench much of the first half after two early fouls, Cole helped to pick up some early scoring slack. Cole knocked down his first three shots from the field and accounted for UNCG's first seven points. Holding Davidson to just three field goals in a 12-minute span, the Spartans hung around to trail 17-14 with 6:13 left in the half.
Both teams started to find a rhythm after that, however, as the teams combined to score 21 points in the next three minutes. In fact the teams almost scored as many points in the final 6:13 as they had in the first nearly 14 minutes - Davidson 15 and UNCG 12 - as Davidson took a 32-26 lead into the intermission.
But the Spartans kept after it early in the second half and took their first lead of the night three minutes in. Toney's three-pointer from the top of the arc capped off a 14-4 run that spanned the last three minutes of the first half and the first three minutes of the second half. It gave UNCG a 35-34 lead and forced Davidson to call a timeout with 17:02 to play.
The Spartans stretched that lead to seven, 46-39 with 11:19 to play on Pete Brown's bucket in the lane. To that point, the Spartans had scored 25 of the last 34 points over a 12-minute span to erase Davidson's nine-point late first half advantage.
Davidson's Cohen and Kuhlman hit back-to-back treys to tie the game, however, 48-48 with 7:24 to play. Will Archambault followed with another nearly a minute later and the Wildcats were back in front. Prior to the three consecutive treys, the Spartans had forced Davidson to miss 10 of 13 shots to open the second half.
The game was UNCG's fifth straight decided by six points or less.
The Spartans close out the regular season on Monday night back at the Greensboro Coliseum against Georgia Southern. Game time is set for 7 p.m. with Senior Night festivities slated to get underway at approximately 6:40 p.m. honoring Mikko Koivisto, Ben Stywall, Montel Smith, Mike Hardiman, Pete Brown and Kendall Toney.
DAVIDSON 60, UNCG 56
UNCG (6-22, 5-12 SoCon)
Kendall Toney 7-12 0-0 16; Kyle Randall 6-12 2-2 15; Brian Cole 5-8 3-4 14; Mikko Koivisto 1-9 2-2 5; Pete Brown 2-5 0-0 4; Ben Stywall 0-4 1-2 1; Brandon Evans 0-1 1-2 1; Elhanan Bone 0-0 0-0 0; Korey Van Dussen 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-53 9-12 56.
DAVIDSON (15-14, 10-7 SoCn)
J.P. Kuhlman 4-6 3-3 14; Jake Cohen 4-7 4-5 13; Will Archambault 4-10 0-0 11; Brendan Mckillop 3-6 0-0 9; Steve Rossiter 2-4 2-4 6; Bryant Barr 2-5 0-0 5; Nik Cochran 1-3 0-0 2; Ben Allison 0-3 0-0 0; Dan Nelms 0-0 0-0 0; Will Reigel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-44 9-12 60.
Halftime: Davidson 32-26. 3-point goals--UNCG 5-15 (Kendall Toney 2-5; Mikko Koivisto 1-5; Brian Cole 1-2; Kyle Randall 1-3), Davidson 11-23 (Will Archambault 3-5; Brendan Mckillop 3-6; Jp Kuhlman 3-4; Bryant Barr 1-4; Jake Cohen 1-2; Nik Cochran 0-2). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Davidson-None. Rebounds--UNCG 25 (Kyle Randall 7), Davidson 35 (Will Archambault 7). Assists--UNCG 7 (Kendall Toney 3), Davidson 15 (Brendan Mckillop 6). Total fouls--UNCG 18, Davidson 13. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Davidson-None. A-3890
FREE THROWS: UNCG has lost nine straight against Davidson and 16 of the last 17... Toney now has a three-pointer in 19 consecutive games... Toney became the fourth player in school history to record 200 career three-pointers joining Mikko Koivisto, Scott Hartzell and Jay Joseph... Koivisto extended his streak to 11 straight games... Toney and Stywall played their 119th consecutive game to tie Jay Joseph's school record... UNCG had just one turnover in the second half.
- UNCG -