Second half surge lifts Davidson past UNCG, 75-65
DAVIDSON, NC – A 17-2 Wildcat run midway through the second half was the difference as Davidson defeated UNC Greensboro, 75-65, in a clash of Southern Conference division leaders Saturday afternoon at Belk Arena.
UNCG (12-10, 9-3 SoCon), which began the day tied atop the SoCon North Division with Appalachian State, had its five-game winning streak snapped with the loss. UNCG had also won six straight conference games.
UNCG was led by Kyle Hines and Mikko Koivisto with 18 points each. Koivisto knocked down six three-pointers on the afternoon
Hines, a junior from Sicklerville, NJ, also grabbed eight rebounds on the afternoon and tied the UNCG career record for field goals with 596, equaling Jay Joseph’s mark. He also extended his string of games with 10 or more points to 43 straight games.
Davidson (20-4, 11-1 SoCon), which shot 57.6 percent in the second half from the floor after shooting 40.6 percent in the first half, turned it around in the second 20 minutes, forcing 13 UNCG turnovers and turning it into 16 points. The Wildcats were led by Stephen Curry with 29 points, the fourth straight game he has scored 20 or more points. Curry knocked down seven three-pointers on the afternoon.
Boris Meno added 20 points, making his first nine shots from the floor. Meno also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Jason Richards also chipped in with 17 points for Davidson. The win marked Davidson’s third-straight 20-win season, the first time since the 1960’s that the Wildcats had put together three straight 20-win seasons. It is the seventh 20-win season under coach Bob McKillop.
UNCG’s loss to Davidson was its ninth in the last 10 meetings. The Wildcats are now 70-9 at Belk Arena over the last six seasons. The Spartans haven’t won in Belk since January 27, 2001, losing four in a row over that span.
UNCG did catch a break on Saturday night, however, when Furman knocked off Appalachian State in overtime, 76-72, at Timmons Arena in Greenville, SC. UNCG and Appalachian State remain tied atop the SoCon North at 9-3.
“Obviously it was an outstanding performance by Curry and Richards,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “They are outstanding players and it showed today. Curry can play at the next level. If he puts on some weight, I really think he can be a good NBA player.
“We made a couple of shots early in the second half, but then we got sloppy. I think we turned it over a couple of times, had a couple of misses and got off track. We should have taken a shot one time and passed it up – wound up with a three-second call. You can’t do those kind of things against a team like Davidson because they will take advantage and that was what happened in the second half.
“We have to get back to taking care of the basketball. We had 21 turnovers here today against Davidson. We had a bunch (18) the other night against Georgia Southern and were still able to come away with a win. That wasn’t going to happen against Davidson today, though.”
Quite the contrast from a year earlier at Belk Arena when Davidson jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first five minutes and never looked back, UNCG held a six-point lead midway through the first half, 18-12. The Spartans established themselves early on, knocking down shots from the perimeter and inside and drawing a pair of charges on the defensive end of the floor.
Although UNCG led for much of the first half, there wasn’t much separation between the teams. The Spartans led by seven on a couple of occasions, but Davidson stayed within striking distance thanks to Curry’s three-point shooting. The freshman from Charlotte, NC knocked down four three-pointers in the first half and finished the half with 16 points. UNCG countered it with 14 points by Hines in the half and took a 37-33 lead into the break.
The pace picked up and the teams came out hot to open the second half, combining to make seven of their first eight shots in the first 2:20. Meno hit his seventh consecutive shot from the floor for the Wildcats, driving down the lane to tie the score, 44-44, with 16:09 to play. A minute later Jason Richards scored on a give-and-go down the lane to give Davidson its first lead since 6-5.
After Mikko Koivisto’s three-pointer with 12:48 left gave UNCG a 49-48 lead, Davidson ran off seven straight points, all by Jason Richards, to take its largest lead to that point, 55-49.
From there, Davidson took over, stretching the lead to 12, 63-51, with 9:20 to play. Hines picked up his fourth foul on a charge with 8:07 to play and UNCG’s hopes of a comeback got decisively dimmer. The Spartans never got the margin to single-digits after that.
UNCG returns to action Monday when it visits Wofford for a 7 pm tip.
SIDELINES: Entering Saturday’s game, UNCG was one of three teams to hold Davidson under 70 points in a game this season. Duke and Michigan were the others... Saturday’s game was a match-up of the top two scorers in the league in UNCG’s Kyle Hines and Davidson’s Stephen Curry. Curry, seemingly a lock for SoCon Freshman of the Year honors, came into the ballgame averaging 19.5 ppg, while Hines was averaging 21.7 ppg... In the first nine minutes of the second half when Davidson turned things around, UNCG committed seven turnovers (after eight in the first half) and the Wildcats made 10-of-14 from the floor... Ricky Hickman was held scoreless in the game, something that hadn’t happened in 81 games (end of freshman season).
DAVIDSON 75, UNCG 65
UNCG (12-10, 9-3 SoCon)
KOIVISTO, Mikko 6-10 0-0 18; HINES, Kyle 7-13 4-6 18; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 5-8 0-0 12; STYWALL, Ben 4-5 0-1 9; BROWN, Pete 1-1 1-2 3; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-2 0-0 3; TONEY, Kendall 1-6 0-0 2; AKINOSHO, Matt 0-0 0-0 0; TOOMS, Bart 0-0 0-0 0; HICKMAN, Ricky 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-48 5-9 65.
DAVIDSON (20-4, 11-1 SoCon)
CURRY, Stephen 11-20 0-0 29; MENO, Boris 9-11 2-4 20; RICHARDS, Jason 7-12 2-3 17; SANDER, Thomas 3-6 0-0 6; ARCHAMBAULT, Wm. 1-6 0-0 3; BARR, Bryant 0-1 0-0 0; FALCONI, John 0-0 0-0 0; NELMS, Dan 0-0 0-0 0; LOVEDALE, Andrew 0-2 0-0 0; ROSSITER, Stephen 0-0 0-0 0; GOSSELIN, Max Paul 0-6 0-0 0. Totals 31-64 4-7 75.
Halftime: UNCG 37-33. 3-point goals--UNCG 10-22 (KOIVISTO, Mikko 6-10; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2-3; STYWALL, Ben 1-2; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-2; HICKMAN, Ricky 0-1; TONEY, Kendall 0-4), Davidson 9-27 (CURRY, Stephen 7-13; ARCHAMBAULT, Wm. 1-6; RICHARDS, Jason 1-3; BARR, Bryant 0-1; GOSSELIN, Max Paul 0-3; SANDER, Thomas 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Davidson-None. Rebounds--UNCG 26 (HINES, Kyle 8), Davidson 35 (MENO, Boris 9). Assists--UNCG 12 (JOHNSON, Dwayne 4; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 4), Davidson 12 (SANDER, Thomas 4). Total fouls--UNCG 15, Davidson 16. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Davidson-None. A-4588.
- UNCG -