UNCG falls in overtime to Elon, 64-61, at SoCon Men's Basketball Championship
CHARLESTON, SC – UNC Greensboro rallied from an 18-point second half deficit and had three chances to win the game at the end of regulation, but could not capitalize as the 10th-seeded Spartans fell in overtime to second-seeded Elon, 64-61, in quarterfinal action in the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.
UNCG was led by Kyle Hines’ 21 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots. Hines finished the season with 578 points, the most by a Spartan in UNCG’s Division I era and the second-most in school history. He will begin his junior season just 14 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He also extended his double-figure scoring streak to 21 straight games and grabbed his 500th career rebound in the process.
Ricky Hickman chipped in 13 points for the Spartans (12-19). Elon (15-13) had four players in double-figures led by Jackson Atoyebi’s 13 points.
“These guys showed a lot of character to be down 18 and fight back like that,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “We had three chances at the end of regulation and it was like we had a lid on the basket. If we could get any one of them to go down, we come out with a win.”
UNCG had three chances to win it at the end of regulation, but Hickman missed a runner and Oleksiak and Hines couldn’t connect on successive follows. Elon got the rebound, but a last second play was foiled by a Spartan deflection.
“It’s just our luck right now,” said Hines. “I thought Ricky’s was in first, then I thought Kevin’s was for sure. When it came to me, I thought it was good, too, but it rimmed out. When it didn’t go, it just took all of the breath out of me. We were just one tip-in, one possession away from a win.”
UNCG scored first in the overtime when Hines hit one of two from the line on the opening possession to give UNCG its first lead since midway through the first half. Neither team scored again until the 2:29 mark when LeVonn Jordan hit two free throws to give Elon a 59-58 lead.
Hines was fouled on UNCG’s next possession and he made one of two at the line to knot the score, 59-59. Colin Wyatt scored on a lay-up to give Elon a 61-59 lead with two minutes to play.
The Phoenix left the door open a crack a couple of times. Jordan missed the first of two free throws with 47.4 seconds to play. Trailing by three, Hickman was fouled by Simon Harris on a put back with 34 seconds left. Hickman hit them both to close within one and UNCG then forced a turnover with full court pressure on the ensuing in-bounds. But Oleksiak was ruled to step out of bounds on the following possession giving Elon the ball back.
Chris Chalko then drained one of two at the line, again leaving UNCG a chance. However, Hines traveled after getting double-teamed.
Again, Elon left the game in double. This time Waters made one of two with eight second left. But Hickman could not get a good look at a game-tying three pointer and slipped as time expired.
The Spartans got off to a fast start, scoring the first eight points of the contest, six of them coming from Hines. The Phoenix missed five of their first six shots as UNCG took its first double-digit lead of the night, 13-3, on Dwayne Johnson’s three-pointer from the right wing with the game less than six minutes old.
Elon responded, however, with a 13-3 run to get back within one, 17-16, with 8:30 to go before halftime. The Phoenix took their first lead, 21-20, on a Brett James lay-up with seven minutes left in the half.
The Spartans, meanwhile, had cooled off. UNCG managed just two field goals over a 10-minute span over opening up a 15-3 advantage to start the game. Elon outscored UNCG 25-5 during that span to turn the 12-point deficit into an eight-point advantage.
Elon stretched the lead to 11 and looked to be heading to the locker room with a 35-24 lead, but Johnson knocked down a shot from just inside the mid-court line to cut the margin to eight at the intermission. That shot would become even larger as UNCG would rally in the second half.
Elon came out of the locker room and, in the first 4:30, ran off the first 10 points of the second half and looked like it was about to take control. The Phoenix, however, scored just 12 points for the remainder of regulation. UNCG found life, scoring 14 straight points to get back to within four, 45-41, with 13 minutes to play.
It was a three-point game when Elon’s Scottie Rice knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing with 5:28 to go, giving Elon a 52-46 lead. That came just after UNCG had a 2-on-1 break and Ricky Hickman was stripped on the way to the basket. However, Hickman scored on the next possession when he drove the right baseline and Hines followed with two free throws to close the gap to two again.
A couple possessions later, Devin Boddie came up with a steal and went coast-to-coast, closing it to 55-54 with 3:45 left and forcing Elon to take a timeout. After a couple of Elon free throws, Hines converted a conventional three-point play with 1:45 to play to tie the score at 57-57.
SIDELINES: Hines’ 26 points in UNCG’s first round win on Thursday night were the most by a Spartan in a SoCon tourney game. It surpassed the 22-point mark set by both Josh Gross and Ricky Hickman on consecutive days last year... Friday’s meeting between Elon and UNCG was the first ever in the postseason... Hines scored 10 points in the first 8:36, then did not score again until the 6:50 mark of the second half. In between all of that, UNCG lost a 12-point lead and rallied most of the way back from an 18-point deficit... During the Spartans’ Division I era, Elon is only the second team to beat UNCG three times in the same season. The other was Davidson in 2002... Elon has won five of the last six meetings between the backyard rivals... UNCG is 0-3 all-time in overtime games at the SoCon tournament.
ELON 64, UNC GREENSBORO 61 (OT)
UNC GREENSBORO (12-19)
HINES, Kyle 8-13 5-8 21; HICKMAN, Ricky 5-15 3-6 13; BODDIE, Devin 3-7 0-0 7; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2-7 0-0 6; JOHNSON, Dwayne 2-6 0-0 6; McCLENNY, David 2-4 0-0 5; AKINOSHO, Matt 1-1 1-2 3; TOOMS, Bart 0-4 0-0 0; SIMMONS, Everson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 9-16 61.
ATOYEBI, Jackson 6-9 1-1 13; RICE, Scottie 4-8 1-2 12; JORDAN, LeVonn 4-14 4-6 12; CHALKO, Chris 3-10 2-4 10; WATERS, Brian 1-3 3-6 6; HARRIS, Simon 2-3 0-0 4; WATSON, Montell 1-2 0-0 3; JAMES, Brett 1-4 0-0 2; WYATT, Colin 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 23-58 11-19 64.
Halftime: Elon 35-27. 3-point goals-UNC Greensboro 6-17 (JOHNSON, Dwayne 2-3; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2-4; BODDIE, Devin 1-3; McCLENNY, David 1-2; TOOMS, Bart 0-1; HICKMAN, Ricky 0-4), Elon 7-21 (RICE, Scottie 3-5; CHALKO, Chris 2-9; WATERS, Brian 1-2; WATSON, Montell 1-2; JAMES, Brett 0-3). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Elon-None. Rebounds-UNC Greensboro 35 (HINES, Kyle 9), Elon 43 (JORDAN, LeVonn 10). Assists-UNC Greensboro 13 (HINES, Kyle 3; JOHNSON, Dwayne 3), Elon 18 (JORDAN, LeVonn 4; WATSON, Montell 4). Total fouls-UNC Greensboro 20, Elon 16.
- UNCG -