Eight is enough as Toney leads UNCG past USC Upstate
GREENSBORO, NC – Kendall Toney set a school-record and nearly an NCAA record with eight consecutive 3-point field goals and Kyle Hines recorded his 33rd career double-double as UNC Greensboro topped USC Upstate, 93-76, in men’s basketball action at Fleming Gym on Saturday night.
Toney, a sophomore from Charlotte, NC, who led the Southern Conference in three-point shooting percentage a year ago, connected on his first eight attempts from behind the arc and was one shy of the national record. However, he front rimmed his ninth attempt with 4:11 to play, missing the Division I record accomplished three times. UNCG’s previous best was a 6-for-6 effort by Nathan Jameson against Saint Peter’s in 2001, which is a SoCon record for field goal percentage in a game. Toney finished the night with 24 points on 8-of-9 shooting, all from behind the arc.
Hines extended his streak to 54 straight games with 10 or more points, the longest current in the nation. The All-America candidate finished the night with 19 points and 11 rebounds, including the 800th board of his career. He played just 24 minutes on the night.
The Sicklerville, NJ, native extended the streak before half for the 27th time in the 54 games. On Saturday, he extended it before the game was 12 minutes old, crossing into double figures with a conventional three-point play at the 8:44 mark. He wound up only playing 10 minutes in the first half as he picked up his second foul shortly thereafter.
Sophomore forward Ben Stywall also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 points and Mikko Koivisto chipped in with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Luke Payne, son of coach Eddie Payne, led USC Upstate (0-5) with 15 points, including the 1,000th of his career. Rashawn Brailsford added 14 points.
“It felt great out there tonight,” said Toney, who hit eight 3-pointers last year in an overtime loss at North Carolina State. “When they were calling plays for me, I was getting good looks and they just kept going down. I didn’t know anything about the national record out there.”
“We were thinking about Oleksiak’s record of nine and then they came and told (the bench) about the national record when Kendall was at eight,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “So I called his number to give him a chance at it and he took a bad shot. He came up top and took a tough shot with the guy right on him.
“He shot it well tonight and that was very valuable for us tonight. We still need to work on our zone offense. I thought they moved the ball better than we did. Our turnovers hurt, too. They played 75 percent zone and we still had 18 turnovers.”
UNCG (3-1) got out of the gate quickly, jumping out to a 10-2 lead. USC Upstate recovered briefly before back-to-back three-pointers by Toney extended the home team’s lead to 25-10 just eight minutes into the game. Coming out of the media timeout, another trey by Toney and a lob to Hines for a dunk grew the lead up to 20.
UNCG looked to be on cruise control until USC Upstate made a 9-3 run to close out the first half and cut the deficit to 14 at the break, 50-36. That came with both Hines and point guard Dwayne Johnson on the UNCG bench with two fouls.
The teams played fairly even through the first part of the second half as Toney remained hot. USC Upstate got as close as its halftime deficit - 14 - a couple of times in the second half. But UNCG shot 59 percent from the floor in the half to prevent any further damage, stretching the lead back to 86-62 with 4:57 to go.
Toney made his eighth 3-pointer with 6:11 to play, but then missed for the first time all night two minutes later.
UNCG’s 50 first-half points were the most it had scored in an opening half since Dec. 16, 2004, when it scored 52 on Guilford on the way to a 96-65 win. The Spartans are now 28-13 all-time in home openers, including 14-3 in the Division I era. UNCG has also won 32 of its last 34 home non-conference contests.
USC Upstate, a first-year Division I program in the Atlantic Sun Conference, has trailed wire-to-wire in four of their five losses.
UNCG returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Kent State. Game time is set for 7 pm.
FREE THROWS: The game was the 200th for UNCG at Fleming Gym. The Spartans are now 136-64 all-time at Fleming... Koivisto extended his streak to 14 consecutive games with a three-pointer... Saturday night’s meeting was the first since January 1990 when the schools were both member of Division II. USC Upstate, then known as USC-Spartanburg, had won all three previous meetings... Prior to Saturday’s game, Hines was presented a ceremonial basketball in honor of his breaking the school’s career scoring mark last weekend. Hines topped Jay Joseph’s career mark of 1,646 points in last Saturday’s loss to ... The game marked the return to Greensboro for USC Upstate coach Eddie Payne. Payne was previously the head coach at neighboring Greensboro College for two seasons from 2000-2002. Payne also played three seasons at Wake Forest in the early 1970’s... UNCG point guard Dwayne Johnson did return to the starting line-up on Saturday night. Johnson suffered a concussion last Friday against UTPA. He missed Saturday’s game at Missouri State and saw limited practice for most of this week. However, he showed little of any ill effects on Saturday with seven assists and no turnovers in 24 minutes of action... For the trivia buffs, the three players who went 9-for-9 from three-point range in a game: Old Dominion’s Mark Poag (vs. VMI on Nov. 24, 1997), Markus Wilson of Evansville (against UT-Martin on Nov. 28, 1998) and Providence’s Donnie McGrath (Feb. 2, 2005 against Virginia).
UNCG 93, USC UPSTATE 76
Luke Payne 4-12 3-4 15; Rashawn Brailsford 5-8 3-4 14; Nick Schneiders 5-8 1-1 11; Gabor Boros 3-4 0-0 8; Bobby Davis 3-6 2-2 8; Justin Houser 3-5 1-2 7; Zac Rich 2-2 0-0 6; Mezie Uzochukwu 2-8 0-0 4; Josh Chavis 0-3 2-2 2; Rory Spencer 0-3 1-2 1; Greg Maugle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 13-17 76.
Kendall Toney 8-9 0-0 24; Kyle Hines 9-17 1-3 19; Ben Stywall 3-4 7-8 13; Mikko Koivisto 5-7 0-0 13; Daniel Oliver 1-2 5-6 7; Kevin Oleksiak 3-4 0-0 7; Dwayne Johnson 1-4 3-6 5; Darrius Sellers 1-5 1-2 3; Pete Brown 0-2 2-2 2; Davor Galic 0-0 0-0 0; Landon Clement 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 31-57 19-27 93.
Halftime: UNCG 50-36. 3-point goals--USC Upstate 9-21 (Luke Payne 4-9; Zac Rich 2-2; Gabor Boros 2-2; Rashawn Brailsford 1-2; Mezie Uzochukwu 0-3; Josh Chavis 0-2; Justin Houser 0-1), UNCG 12-20 (Kendall Toney 8-9; Mikko Koivisto 3-4; Kevin Oleksiak 1-1; Daniel Oliver 0-1; Dwayne Johnson 0-3; Landon Clement 0-2). Fouled out--USC Upstate-Bobby Davis, UNCG-None. Rebounds--USC Upstate 30 (Bobby Davis 8), UNCG 35 (Kyle Hines 11). Assists--USC Upstate 12 (Josh Chavis 3; Luke Payne 3), UNCG 19 (Dwayne Johnson 7). Total fouls—USC Upstate 20, UNCG 16. Technical fouls--USC Upstate-None, UNCG-None. Att. - 837.
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