Spartans blow by Bulldogs
UNC Greensboro 84,
The Citadel 54
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The best big man in the Southern Conference wasted little time in introducing himself to The Citadel's freshmen Monday night.
Kyle Hines, UNC Greensboro's 6-6, 230-pound senior and the defending SoCon basketball player of the year, hit all 10 of his shots and scored 22 points in just 19 minutes as the Spartans spanked the Bulldogs, 84-54, at Fleming Gymnasium.
Hines scored five points during the Spartans' 17-0 spurt to start the game, and finished the first half with 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the floor. UNC Greensboro won its sixth straight to improve to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in the SoCon.
"He is just an unstoppable force down there," Citadel coach Ed Conroy said of Hines, who has scored in double figures in 63 straight games. "We tried to mix it up on defense, but they did a good job of finding him. He just does so many things well, that's why he's such a consistent scorer."
Freshman Austin Dahn hit 5 of 7 from 3-point range and led the Bulldogs (5-9, 0-5) with 19 points. Freshman Tyrell McDowell added 12 points, but The Citadel made just 18 of 53 shots from the field in dropping their third straight game.
Playing its third game in five days, The Citadel missed its first nine shots from the floor and hit just 7 of 26 shots in the first 20 minutes, falling behind by 29 points in the first half.
"No question, we did not focus on the details that we needed to out there," Conroy said. "We just didn't execute some simple things that we needed to do to negate Hines a little bit. Our rotations were not there, and they were slow if they did come. I was disappointed in our concentration and focus going in."
UNCG's Kevin Oleksiak, who finished with 11 points, scored the final seven points of the half as the Spartans built a 47-18 lead by intermission. The Spartans' lead reached 44 in the second half.
In the early going, Hines hit a reverse layup off a lob pass and converted a 3-point play as UNCG jumped to a 17-0 lead.
Cameron Wells broke the Bulldogs' drought with a jumper 5:18 into the game, and The Citadel climbed to within 23-11 after Dahn hit consecutive 3-pointers. But Hines scored six points during a 13-2 run that gave the Spartans a 39-15 lead, breaking the game wide open.
"Our effort was there, and you had to be here to appreciate some of the shots we missed in close," Conroy said. "Early on, we had too many turnovers, but for a good period we got some decent looks against their pressure defense, got in the paint and didn't finish. We have to learn how to finish those shots."
The Bulldogs begin a five-game homestand Saturday against Georgia Southern, followed by College of Charleston, Wofford, Davidson and UNC Greensboro again.