UNCG falls to Appalachian State, 75-69
GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNC Greensboro made just one field goal over the final seven minutes and Appalachian State made six of their final nine free throws down the stretch as the Spartans fell, 75-69, on Monday evening in the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Spartans fell to 5-19 on the year and 4-9 in the Southern Conference, while the Mountaineers improved to 14-10 this season and 8-4 in the league. Coupled with Elon's win over Western Carolina, Appalachian State took over first place in the SoCon's North Division.
Freshman Kyle Randall paced the Spartans with 18 points and senior Mikko Koivisto added 16. Ben Stywall grabbed 11 rebounds, but was held without a field goal and finished with just seven points. Stywall, who was playing in his 115th consecutive game, was held without a field goal for only the second time in the past 88 games.
Donald Sims had 16 points for the Mountaineers and Kellen Brand matched that mark, despite fouling out with over four minutes remaining in the game. Josh Hunter also finished in double figures as he added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the year.
The game featured 12 ties and 13 lead changes, nine of those lead changes coming in the opening half. Neither team led by more than six in the opening half. UNCG trailed just 33-30 at the break despite having their leading scorer Stywall score just one point in the first half. Stywall came into the game averaging 14.3 points per contest, including 18 per game over the last seven games.
The Spartans reclaimed the lead at 39-38 on a free throw by Kendall Toney with 16:50 to play. Appalachian State got back to back three-pointer from Brand, however, to make it a five-point Mountaineer advantage and Isaac Butts followed to make it 46-39 with 15:13 left.
The Spartans battled back once again, scoring on seven straight possessions at one point. A jumper by Randall with just under seven minutes to play gave UNCG its last lead at 60-58. Appalachian State responded with seven straight points, however, capped off by a conventional three-point play by Andre Williamson with 5:14 remaining, giving the Mountaineers a lead they did not relinquish.
UNCG cut the Mountaineer lead to 67-64 on a pair of free throws by Stywall with 1:51 to play, but that was as close as the Spartans would come the rest of the night. Sims knocked down four free throws sandwiched around one by Josh Hunter and Appalachian's lead was back to seven with 39 seconds to play.
UNCG started off hot from the field as it drained 10 of its first 17 attempts from the floor. The Spartans were led in the early going by Koivisto who scored his first 11 points in under 12 minutes, knocking down four of his first five from the field.
Despite their good start, however, the Spartans led just 25-20 with just over eight minutes remaining in the half after Appalachian State got hot, making 8-of-10 from the field in one stretch midway through the opening stanza.
The Spartans went the next eight minutes without a basket as Appalachian State went on a 13-3 run to take a 33-28 lead with just under 30 seconds remaining in the half.
Appalachian State held a 35-25 advantage on the glass. UNCG, which committed just six turnovers in the first meeting in Boone last month, had just seven on Monday night.
UNCG will now have a week off before hosting Western Carolina next Monday at 7 p.m.
APPALACHIAN STATE 75, UNCG 69
APPALACHIAN STATE (14-10, 8-4 SoCon)
Donald Sims 4-13 6-6 16; Kellen Brand 4-6 6-6 16; Josh Hunter 4-6 2-4 10; Isaac Butts 4-7 0-0 8; Jeremi Booth 3-8 0-0 8; Andre Williamson 1-1 5-5 7; Marcus Wright 3-5 0-1 7; Ryann Abraham 0-3 3-4 3; A.J. Highsmith 0-0 0-0 0; Nathan Healy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 22-26 75.
UNCG (5-19, 4-9 SoCon)
Kyle Randall 7-11 3-5 18; Mikko Koivisto 5-16 3-4 16; Kendall Toney 2-7 2-2 8; Ben Stywall 0-6 7-9 7; Deangelo Jackson 3-3 0-0 6; Korey Van Dussen 1-1 2-2 4; Brian Cole 1-3 1-2 4; Pete Brown 2-5 0-0 4; Brandon Evans 1-2 0-0 2; Elhanan Bone 0-0 0-0 0; Montel Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-54 18-24 69.
Halftime: Appalachian State 33-30; 3-point goals--Appalachian State 7-18 (Jeremi Booth 2-4; Kellen Brand 2-4; Donald Sims 2-6; Marcus Wright 1-2; Ryann Abraham 0-2), UNCG 7-21 (Mikko Koivisto 3-13; Kendall Toney 2-6; Brian Cole 1-1; Kyle Randall 1-1). Fouled out--Appalachian State-Kellen Brand, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Appalachian State 35 (Josh Hunter 11), UNCG 25 (Ben Stywall 12). Assists--Appalachian State 7 (Jeremi Booth 2; Marcus Wright 2), UNCG 5 (Kyle Randall 2). Total fouls--Appalachian State 21, UNCG 22. Technical fouls-Appalachian State-None, UNCG-None. A-4198
FREE THROWS: Monday's game had originally been scheduled for next Saturday when the league schedule came out, but had been moved because Ringling Brothers Circus moves into the Coliseum on Tuesday... Stywall finished 0-for-6 from the floor. Despite that, he moved into the Top 10, passing Derrick Nix for 10th place. He now has 1,108 points... Kovisto moved into 13th place on the career scoring list, passing Ronnie Burrell, and now has 1,093 points... Kendall Toney extended his streak and now has a three-pointer in a career-best 15 straight games. He had previously had streaks of 14 and 12 straight... Appalachian State swept the season series for the first time since 2002-03. The teams had split the series each of the last four regular seasons.
- UNCG -