Hines' 33 points not enough as UNCG falls to Furman, 73-71, in SoCon quarterfinals
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – UNC Greensboro went 5:36 between baskets and Furman went on a 20-4 run in the process to defeat UNC Greensboro, 73-71, in the quarterfinal round of the 2007 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.
Furman will face Davidson, a 78-68 winner over Chattanooga in Friday’s first quarterfinal game. Davidson, the top seed, got just about all it could handle from eighth-seeded Chattanooga. In a see-saw battle for much of the afternoon, the Wildcats didn’t open up a lead of more than five points until late in the second half.
The Spartans nearly pulled off a miracle comeback. Trailing by 12 with 4:36 to play, UNCG rallied to within two and had the ball with 2.2 seconds left But the length-of-the-court pass was batted around and time expired without a shot.
Furman, which had lost the last three meetings to UNCG, including two in the regular season this year, knocked down 7-for-10 from the line in the final 56 seconds. It was two misses with just five seconds left, however, that gave UNCG one last chance.
“We spent so much energy trying to catch up,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “They played well and we seemed to be on our heels a little bit. We didn’t have balance tonight. We were out of sync from the beginning and that got us out of our system. We had to go to the half court trap and get out of our 2-3 match-up. That was kind of like a home run or an out for us. You can only stay in that for so long and I think we had to stay in it too long to catch up. They started to get the ball into the middle of the floor and reverse the ball and got some open looks that they could knock down.”
Kyle Hines led UNCG (16-14) with 33 points and nine rebounds, the most points ever scored by a Spartan in a Southern Conference Tournament game. Hines scored in double figures for the 50th consecutive game, currently the fifth-longest streak in the nation. It was the 25th time during the streak that the Sicklerville, NJ native extended the streak before halftime. It was his 32n d career game of 20 or more points, including 14 this season. He also moved into second place on the school’s career scoring list, passing James Maye. Hines, who was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year by both the coaches and the media this week, will enter his senior season with 1,591 career points, just 55 shy of Jay Joseph’s school record.
“I tried to leave it all out on the floor tonight,” said Hines. “I gave it my all. I’m exhausted physically and mentally. Really very tired. But I tried to give my best effort out there tonight.
Ricky Hickman added 20 points in his final game in a Spartan uniform. He finished his career fourth on the school’s career scoring list with 1,544 points after recording his seventh straight game in double figures and his 28th career 20-point game.
The Spartans were hampered by a tough shooting night from the perimeter. UNCG made just 4-of-22 from behind the three-point arc and no one made multiple treys.
“It is hard to slow Hines down,” said Furman coach Jeff Jackson. “Even with the double team, he’s impossible to shut down. You can’t really stop him, only hope to contain him.”
Furman got 18 points from Robby Bostain and 16 from Moussa Diagne. Diagne also had nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Several times down the stretch, it was Diagne who kept Furman going with putback buckets.
Furman (15-15), the tournament’s No. 5 seed, got off to a quick start. The Paladins scored the first seven points of the contest on their way to a quick 9-1 lead. UNCG struggled to get on track at the outset, missing nine of its first 12 from the field. A three-pointer by Robbie Bostain from the right corner gave Furman a 22-10 lead with 11:44 remaining before half.
The Spartans, however, responded with a 16-2 run – 10 of them from Hines – that was partially sparked by UNCG switching to a half-court trap. The run led to UNCG’s first lead of the game, 26-24. In fact, Hines and Hickman scored 28 of UNCG’s first 30 points – that after having scored the last 40 points in UNCG’s win over Furman in their last meeting January 27, including all 36 in the second half. Hines finished the first half with 20 points, the second time this season that he has scored 20 in the opening half, as UNCG took a 32-30 lead into the intermission.
But Hines didn’t score another field goal for 12 minutes and the game stayed tight well into the second half. UNCG went nearly six minutes between baskets and Furman turned a four-point deficit into a four-point lead. Moussa Diagne’s three-pointer from the left corner gave Furman a 48-44 lead with 9:29 to play.
Anderson drove the lane to give Furman an eight-point lead with 6:11 to play and. Bostain knocked down two free throws to give the Paladins a 58-48 lead, their first double-digit advantage of the day with 5:29 to play.
Hickman pulled the Spartans back in it with a pair of three-point plays. A three-point field goal and an old-fashioned three-point play by the Winston-Salem, NC native cut an 11-point Furman lead to five with 2:52 to play, 62-57. UNCG pulled to within three with two free throws by Hines, but consecutive putbacks by Furman’s Diagne gave the Paldadins a seven-point advantage with 1:15 to play.
Dwayne Johnson knocked down a trey to cut it back to four with 56 seconds to play. Gerad Punch two at the line to push the margin back to six, but Hines got that back with a lay-up with 37 seconds left. Bostain made one of two at the line with 33 seconds to go, but Kendall Toney knocked down a 21-footer from the top of the arc to make it 69-67 with 25 seconds left.
After Punch knocked down two more at the line, Hines got it back to two again with 12 seconds left. Tony Anderson then knocked down a pair, but Hickman drove to the basket with six seconds left to offset it and make it a two-point game again. Eric Webb, however, missed two from the line and left the door open ever so slightly. But Ben Stywall’s long pass was batted about by Hines and Furman’s Stanley Jones and time expired before Hines could gain control.
Hines finished the season with 605 points, breaking his own school record for the program’s Division I era. Only Robert Bryant scored more points in a single-season, scoring 657 back in 1985-86 when UNCG was a Division III program. Hines is also the only player to ever score 30 points in a game five times in the same season. His 260 rebounds this season were also the fourth-highest single-season total.
SIDELINES: Thirteen of UNCG’s 14 first-half field goals were in the paint. After the 3-for-12 start from the floor, UNCG shot 11-for-22 the remainder of the first half... It was the third time this season that old friends faced-off. UNCG coach Mike Dement and Furman coach Jeff Jackson were once assistant coaches at Cornell back in the early 1980s... The team with the SoCon Player of the Year has been snakebit the last few years. Last year, Georgia Southern (Elton Nesbitt) was ousted in the quarterfinals and Davidson (Brendan Winters) was taken out by UNCG in the semifinals two years ago... In UNCG’s two regular season wins over Furman, the Spartans scored 160 points. 100 of those points came from the trio of Ricky Hickman, Kyle Hines and Kendall Toney. On Thursday, Hines and Hickman had 53 points, but Toney was held to just three... It was the second time the teams have ever met in the SoCon tournament, with Furman winning both... Hines wound up on several single-season lists: Points (second), field goals (fourth), field goal attempts (third), free throws (second), free throw attempts (first), rebounds (fourth), blocks (fourth)... Hines' 20.9 ppg scoring average to finish the season is the second-highest in school history behind Bryant.
FURMAN 73, UNCG 71
BOSTAIN, Robby 5-8 5-6 18; DIAGNE, Moussa 5-15 4-4 16; PUNCH, Gerad 4-6 5-6 14; JONES, Stanley 4-6 1-2 9; ANDERSON, Tony 1-6 2-2 4; OPACIC, Alex 2-3 0-0 4; WEBB, Eric 1-6 0-2 3; JONES, Jadee 1-3 0-0 3; BROZOS, George 1-2 0-0 2; EVANS, Darryl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-55 17-22 73.
HINES, Kyle 11-17 11-13 33; HICKMAN, Ricky 9-17 1-1 20; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 2-7 1-1 5; STYWALL, Ben 2-4 0-0 4; TONEY, Kendall 1-8 0-0 3; KOIVISTO, Mikko 1-8 0-0 3; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-2 0-0 3; BROWN, Pete 0-0 0-0 0; AKINOSHO, Matt 0-0 0-0 0; TOOMS, Bart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-63 13-15 71.
Halftime: UNCG 32-30. 3-point goals--Furman 8-20 (BOSTAIN, Robby 3-4; DIAGNE, Moussa 2-3; PUNCH, Gerad 1-1; JONES, Jadee 1-3; WEBB, Eric 1-6; ANDERSON, Tony 0-3), UNCG 4-22 (KOIVISTO, Mikko 1-5; TONEY, Kendall 1-7; HICKMAN, Ricky 1-4; JOHNSON, Dwayne 1-2; OLEKSIAK, Kevin 0-4). Fouled out--Furman-None, UNCG-HICKMAN, Ricky. Rebounds--Furman 39 (DIAGNE, Moussa 9), UNCG 31 (HINES, Kyle 9). Assists--Furman 8 (ANDERSON, Tony 3), UNCG 10 (JOHNSON, Dwayne 3). Total fouls--Furman 15, UNCG 20. Technical fouls--Furman-None, UNCG-None. A-2559
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