SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After reaching double-figures in every game during the month of January, USC Upstate sophomore forward Torrey Craig (Great Falls, S.C.) has been named the CollegeHoops.net Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Month.
Craig finished the first month of 2012 averaging 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest. He connected on 48.0% (60-125) of his field goal attempts, 34.9% (22-63) of his three-point attempts and 66.7% (28-42) from the charity stripe.
Craig opened the month with 25 points in the second-half at ETSU (1/4/12) as he posted a career-high 29 points. Three days later, Craig again reached the 20-point plateau, this time tallying 28 points in a 15-point victory over Kennesaw State (1/7/12). He also recorded the first of five double-doubles during the month as he pulled down 10 rebounds.
Craig totaled 17 points against Mercer as the Spartans' comeback attempt fell just short in a 73-66 loss to the Bears (1/9/12). The second-year Spartan recorded a pair of double-doubles in the River City as Upstate split with conference foes North Florida (W, 69-62, 1/14/12) and Jacksonville (L, 74-77, OT, 1/16/12). Against the Ospreys, Craig finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while posting 17 points and 10 rebounds against the Dolphins.
Craig had just five points at intermission and the Spartans trailed Belmont by 16 at the break. Craig came alive in the second-half as he scored 17 points including the game-winning basket with just 0.7 seconds to play as Upstate stormed back for a 79-78 win over the Bruins. The victory over Belmont (1/21/12) was the first for Upstate.
Craig helped the Spartans pick up a sweep of A-Sun schools from Nashville as he scored 14 points and hauled in 12 rebounds in the 61-52 win over Lipscomb (1/23/12). Upstate became the first program to defeat Belmont and Lipscomb in back-to-back contests since Jacksonville (2009-10).
In the A-Sun/CSS Game of the Week against ETSU (1/27/12), Craig was one of four players to reach double-figures as he posted 11 points in the four-point win over the Bucs. Craig also grabbed 10 rebounds for his fifth and final double-double of the season (seventh overall).
In the final game of the month, Craig finished with 15 points as Upstate outlasted Jacksonville State (1/30/12), 82-77; The victory over the Gamecocks gave the Spartans a season sweep and tied its longest winning streak of both the season and the D-I era (four games).
By reaching double-figures in Jacksonville, Ala., Craig became the first Spartan of the D-I era to tally 10 or more points in every game in a calendar month. He is also the first Spartan since Charleston Long (Jan. 2005) to accomplish the feat.
The Spartans will return to action Saturday afternoon when they battle Mercer in Macon, Ga., at 4:30 p.m.