SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Coming off of a thrilling 93-91 double-overtime victory over UNC Asheville on Monday night, the Spartans will kick-off the conference season with a Sunday afternoon matinee against the ETSU Bucs.
Sunday will be the seventh meeting between USC Upstate (1-6, 0-0 A-Sun) and ETSU since the Spartans joined the Atlantic Sun at the beginning of the 2007-08 academic year, however the Bucs (3-2, 0-0 A-Sun) have claimed the first six meetings in the series. In the six prior meetings, only once have the Bucs won by double-digits (Jan. 26, 2009 - ETSU 82, Upstate 72). In the other five games, the Bucs have won by margins of one, five, six and seven (twice).
Mrs. Dodie Anderson (USC Upstate, Class of 1981) will be honored at Sunday's game. It was Mrs. Anderson's generous gift of $4 million that made the renovation of the Hodge Center a reality.
Fans not in attendance can watch the action live online at ASun.TV by visiting the service's web site, www.asun.tv, and clicking on the USC Upstate tab. Fans can also receive live statistical updates by visiting the official Upstate Athletics Web site at www.upstatespartans.com.
A new feature launched this season for Upstate Athletics is the addition of a live blog. Fans that wish to interact with each other as well as a member of the Upstate media relations staff during the game may do so by clicking the play button on the live event below. The event will begin approximately 30 minutes before tip-off and will end shortly after the conclusion of the game. To access the live blog click the link at the top of the page.
• The Spartans are 6-5 all-time on December 5, last falling at Wichita State, 72-45, in 2009.
• Babatunde Olumuyiwa earned A-Sun Newcomer of the Week accolades (Nov. 30) after averaging 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.5 blocks per game in two outings (at South Carolina; vs. UNC Asheville).
• Senior Josh Chavis recorded a total of six assists and zero turnovers against UNC Asheville.
• Babatunde Olumuyiwa was 8-for-10 at the free throw line on Monday night.
• Carter Cook tied a career-high with 16 points against UNC Asheville. He also had 16 points against Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 14, 2009.
• A total of five players reached double figures in scoring against UNC Asheville. It was the first time since Upstate's 81-74 victory over Lipscomb that four or more players reached double figures.
• Chalmers Rogers and Babatude Olumuyiwa are the only Spartans to lead the team in three different statistical categories in a single-game. Rogers led the team at Michigan in points (7), rebounds (9) and steals (2), while Olumuyiwa led Upstate at South Carolina in points (11), blocks (9) and rebounds (7).
Gimme the Rock
Upstate guard Tony Dukes scored the first basket of the game for the Spartans in the first five games of 2010-11. In the first four games, Dukes hit three-pointers, but the sophomore switched it up against East Carolina as he hit a jumper from just outside the paint.
Not to be outdone, forward Mezie Uzochukwu has scored the first basket of the game for Spartans in the last two outings (at South Carolina and UNC Asheville).
Another Weekly Award
In two outings at South Carolina and against UNC Asheville, Olumuyiwa averaged 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.5 blocks per game. He was one of two Spartans to tally 16 points, a career-high for the first-year Spartan, in Upstate's thrilling 93-91 double-overtime victory over UNC Asheville on Monday night in the Hodge Center. He also finished with a career-best nine rebounds to go along with six blocks. Eight of Olumuyiwa's rebounds came on the offensive glass and he finished 8-for-10 at the free throw line. On Nov. 23, Olumuyiwa had a stellar performance at South Carolina as he nearly recorded a double-double (11 points, 9 blocks). He also led the Spartans with seven rebounds against the Gamecocks as the first-year Spartan joined Torrey Craig as back-to-back winners of the A-Sun Newcomer of the Week award.
Babatunde's Block Party
Through the first seven games of his collegiate career, freshman forward Babatunde Olumuyiwa has established himself as a defensive presence. Against East Carolina, Olumuyiwa rejected four Pirate shots, at the time it was a career best for the Athens, Ga., native. Just two days later Olumuyiwa more than doubled that total as he rejected a career-best nine shots (including a pair of dunk attempts) at South Carolina. He recorded six against UNC Asheville to give him 19 in a three-game stretch and on the season, Olumuyiwa has 24 blocks and is averaging 3.43 bpg, both lead the A-Sun.
Sloan's Big Five
Freshman guard Marquis Sloan recorded five steals at South Carolina on Nov. 23. Sloan became the first Spartan to record five or more in a single-game since Jeremy Byrd during the 2007-08 season. Byrd had five steals against the University of Buffalo on Dec. 22, 2007 in the Sun Bowl Tournament (El Paso, Texas).