The Citadel outlasts UNCG, 57-50, in SoCon opener
GREENSBORO, NC – Cameron Wells had 12 points and nine rebounds to lead The Citadel past UNC Greensboro, 57-50, in Southern Conference men's basketball action Thursday night at Fleming Gymnasium.
In the Southern Conference opener for both teams, neither had a field goal in the final 3:18. The Bulldogs knocked down 3-of-4 from the line in the final 27 seconds to hold on for their first win at Fleming since Feb. 17, 1992 – UNCG's first season as a Division I member. The Spartans (1-4, 0-1 SoCon) had won eight straight over the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs came into the game with third-worst three-point field goal defense in the nation, allowing 45 percent in their first seven contests this season. However, the Spartans could not seem to take advantage of the looks that they got from behind the arc, shooting just 5-for-29 from three-point range.
"We had the looks," said UNCG sophomore guard Landon Clement, who led the Spartans with 15 points, but was 3-for-10 from three-point range. "It wasn't that we didn't have open shots; they just wouldn't go down. Some of them went part way down and rattled out. Our defense kept us in the game."
Demetrius Nelson had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs (5-3, 1-0), while Austin Dahn chipped in with 10 points.
The Spartans committed just eight turnovers in the game, but shot 29.7 percent from the floor (19-for-64). The Citadel shot 23-for-49 from the floor to overcome 15 turnovers, including 12 in the first half.
UNCG got off to a slow start, missing 15 of its first 20 from the floor. However, thanks in part to six Citadel turnovers, UNCG found itself down just 15-13 as the clock ticked down to eight minutes left in the opening half. UNCG started to find a rhythm from there, using a 9-4 spurt to tie the game at 22-22 with 2:46 to play in the half. The run was capped off by Mikko Koivisto's layup, steal on the in-bounds, and an ensuing lay-up by Kendall Toney. But that was the Spartans' last points of the half.
The Bulldogs came out to open the second half by scoring 10 of the first 12 to take the first double-digit lead of the night for either team, 34-24, with 17 minutes to play. Dahn had back-to-back treys to score six of the 10 points.
UNCG battled back to within five at 41-36 following a strong move down low by Pete Brown. But the Bulldogs ran off seven straight to take the lead back to 12 with nine minutes to play. The Spartans put together another rally, sparked by a Clement three-pointer. Ben Stywall's putback cut the deficit to 51-47 with 5:32 to play, capping a 7-2 spurt.
Leading by four, 54-50, the Bulldogs were able to run off 64 seconds with a couple of offensive rebounds, but no points. When UNCG did get the ball back, Koivisto missed a three pointer from the top of the arc with 1:42 to go, and The Citadel went back to work on the clock. With six seconds left on the shot clock, Daniel Oliver was whistled for a foul, but it was only the sixth team foul against the Spartans, so The Citadel got a fresh shot clock with 1:24 to play.
With 1:09 left, however, The Citadel turned it over against a half-court trap, leaving the door open for UNCG. But Clement missed a floater in the lane with 42 seconds to go. Zach Urbanus missed the front end of the bonus with 35 seconds left, but Toney had a three-pointer rim out with 28 seconds left. This time Urbanus went back to the foul line and made both ends of the bonus.
The Spartans continue conference play on Saturday when they host College of Charleston at 3 pm. The game will be televised by SportSouth.
THE CITADEL 57, UNCG 50
THE CITADEL (5-3, 1-0)
Cameron Wells 5-11 1-2 12; Demetrius Nelson 5-8 1-2 11; Austin Dahn 4-8 0-0 10; Bryan Streeter 3-5 2-3 8; Zach Urbanus 1-3 3-6 5; Cosmo Morabbi 2-3 0-0 5; Jonathan Brick 2-2 0-0 4; Matt Clark 1-5 0-0 2; Daniel Eykyn 0-4 0-0 0;
Matt Roberts 0-0 0-0 0; Tyrell Mcdowell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 7-13 57.
UNCG (1-4, 0-1)
Landon Clement 5-13 2-2 15; Elhanan Bone 4-8 0-0 8; Mikko Koivisto 2-14 2-2 7; Ben Stywall 2-5 2-4 6; Montel Smith 2-8 1-1 5; Pete Brown 2-4 0-0 4; Daniel Oliver 1-1 0-0 3; Kendall Toney 1-9 0-0 2; Deangelo Jackson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-64 7-9 50.
Halftime: The Citadel 24-22. 3-point goals--The Citadel 4-12 (Austin Dahn 2-5; Cosmo Morabbi 1-1; Cameron Wells 1-2; Zach Urbanus 0-1; Matt Clark 0-1; Daniel Eykyn 0-2), UNCG 5-29 (Landon Clement 3-10; Daniel Oliver 1-1; Mikko Koivisto 1-10; Montel Smith 0-2; Kendall Toney 0-5; Ben Stywall 0-1). Fouled out--The Citadel-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--The Citadel 41 (Cameron Wells 9), UNCG 35 (Ben Stywall 10). Assists--The Citadel 8 (Cameron Wells 3), UNCG 6 (Mikko Koivisto 2). Total fouls--The Citadel 11, UNCG 14. Technical fouls--The Citadel-None, UNCG-None. A-1127
FREE THROWS: Freshman forward Damian Eargle was not in uniform on Thursday night due to a violation of team rules... The Spartans used their fifth different starting line-up in five games this season... Koivisto waisted no time in extending his streak of games with at least one trey. Unlike Sunday when it took to halfway through the second half, the junior from Vantaa, Finland drained one in the first three minutes to make it 29 in a row. He missed nine straight, though, after that... Clement got off his scoring slump quickly. Clement entered the game about five minutes in and knocked down his first shot in the first 30 seconds of action. He had been held scoreless in the last two games after scoring 39 points in the first two games of the year.
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