GREENSBORO, N.C. - Mikko Koivisto scored a team-high 15 points and Ben Stywall recorded his ninth double-double of the season as UNC Greensboro rallied from a 16-point first half deficit to defeat Chattanooga, 62-49, on Thursday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Stywall's 13 points and 15 rebounds was his sixth double-double in eight Southern Conference games this year and the 21st of his career. His 15 rebounds tied a career-high he achieved twice before.
Ricky Taylor had a game-high 21 points to lead the Mocs, while DeAntre Jefferson added eight points in the losing effort. The Mocs hurt themselves with 23 turnovers against UNCG's half-court trap that gave Chattanooga fits. UNCG converted that into a season-high 22 points.
Trailing by seven at the break, the Spartans opened the half on a 6-0 run to pull within one at 29-28. The Mocs responded with a 9-2 run to pull back out to a 38-30 lead with just under 16 minutes remaining in the game.
That would be the last points the Mocs would score over the next 8:45 as the Spartans went on a 16-0 run to turn an eight-point deficit into an eight-point lead, 46-38. UNCG continued to pour it on over the final minutes as they led by as many as 16 with just over a minute remaining in the game.
The game was a carbon-copy of one played between the teams just 11 days earlier - with the roles reversed. UNCG held an early lead in Chattanooga on January 11, before the Mocs stormed back in the second half with 60 percent shooting to claim the victory. Chattanooga's 20 points in the second half tied a season-low for points in a half, equaling the 20 it scored in the first half of the first meeting between the two teams.
The Spartans started off slow as Chattanooga built a 13-2 lead over the first six minutes. UNCG began the game 0-for-8 from the field before Stywall put back a missed 3-pointer with 16:44 left in the half.
The Mocs led by as many as 16 at 24-8 with just over nine minutes remaining before the Spartans went on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to pull within 24-17. Chattanooga maintained its lead the rest of the half as it took a 29-22 lead into the break.
Chattanooga outrebounded the Spartans 25-16 in the opening stanza and shot 46.2 percent in the half. The Spartans shot just 22.9 percent in the first half as they trailed by seven at halftime.
But the 6-0 run got UNCG quickly back to within a point. After Chattanooga's 9-2 spurt gave the Mocs an eight-point lead, UNCG scored 16 straight and 27 of the next 31. Kendall Toney's first three-pointer - which gave him one in 10-straight games - tied the score at 38-38 with 12:35 to play. He knocked down another 70 seconds later to give UNCG its first lead of the night, 41-38.
Eight minutes later, Stywall knocked down a three-pointer - his first in two years - to extend the lead to 15 at 57-42 and the Spartans had all but wrapped things up.
The Spartans continue their three-game homestand on Saturday as they return to Fleming Gymnasium for a 4 p.m. contest against Samford.
UNCG 62, CHATTANOOGA 49
CHATTANOOGA (11-8, 3-3 SoCon)
Ricky Taylor 8-18 1-2 21; Deantre Jefferson 4-5 0-0 8; Ty Patterson 3-15 0-1 7; Dante Harvey 2-4 0-0 4; Jasper Williams 1-1 0-0 3; Jeremy Saffore 1-2 0-0 2; Josh Odem 1-3 0-0 2; Keegan Bell 1-8 0-0 2; Sam Watson 0-2 0-0 0; Chris Early 0-3 0-0 0; Jeff Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 1-3 49.
UNCG (4-15, 3-5 SoCon)
Mikko Koivisto 4-11 5-6 15; Ben Stywall 5-14 2-3 13; Kendall Toney 3-11 0-0 9; Pete Brown 2-3 2-2 6; Brian Cole 2-5 2-2 6; Korey Van Dussen 2-5 0-0 5; Elhanan Bone 1-2 1-2 3; Kyle Randall 1-8 1-2 3; Deangelo Jackson 1-1 0-0 2; Brandon Evans 0-0 0-0 0; Montel Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 13-17 62.
Halftime: Chattanooga 29-22. 3-point goals--Chattanooga 6-26 (Ricky Taylor 4-10; Jasper Williams 1-1; Ty Patterson 1-9; Josh Odem 0-2; Keegan Bell 0-4), UNCG 7-28 (Kendall Toney 3-10; Mikko Koivisto 2-9; Ben Stywall 1-2; Korey Van Dussen 1-3; Kyle Randall 0-2; Montel Smith 0-1; Brian Cole 0-1). Fouled out--Chattanooga-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Chattanooga 39 (Sam Watson 7; Ty Patterson 7; Jeremy Saffore 7), UNCG 39 (Ben Stywall 15).
Assists--Chattanooga 11 (Josh Odem 2; Chris Early 2; Ricky Taylor 2; Jasper Williams 2), UNCG 10 (Kyle Randall 6). Total fouls--Chattanooga 18, UNCG 12. Technical fouls--Chattanooga-TEAM, UNCG-None. A-2632
FREE THROWS: Prior to the game, Stywall and Koivisto were presented with ceremonial basketballs for topping the 1,000-point mark for their careers... Walk-on Robby Dilmore was not in uniform for the second straight game after suffering a concussion last weekend. He is not expected to be available for Saturday's game against Samford... Stywall is now averaging a double-double for the season at 13.7 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. In league play, he is averaging 15.9 points and an amazing 11.9 rebounds... UNCG snapped a three-game losing skid against the Mocs, last beating them at Fleming Gym on Feb. 28, 2008... UNCG hadn't forced 20 or more turnovers since last year's season opener against NAIA-member Webber International... Koivisto scored 10 or more points for the 50th time in his career...
- UNCG -