Hiwassee Comes Calling For Spartans' Home Opener

Hiwassee Comes Calling For Spartans' Home Opener

Contact: David Beall,


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team returns home to the friendly confines of The Hodge Center Monday, Nov. 12, welcoming Hiwassee College to town as the Spartans play their home opener for the 2012-13 season.

The matchup between Upstate and Hiwassee will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. Follow live video of the game by clicking here and live in-game statistics by clicking here. ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM and 1400 AM will broadcast the game that can also be heard online by clicking here.

Story Lines

  • The Tigers are led by a pair of upperclassmen, as junior Rico Stanley leads the club with 15.2 points per game, while senior guard Justin Browner averages 15.0 points per contest. Browner is coming off a 21-point performance at Tennessee Wesleyan, where he paced Hiwassee to its first victory of the season.
  • Coming off a 76-59 loss at Saint Louis last Friday to open the season, the Spartans are now winless in their last seven season openers. Upstate has avoided an 0-2 start twice during this period, winning the second game of the year in 2006 and again last season, knocking off Piedmont College in The Hodge Center.
  • With Fred Miller's three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation at Saint Louis, the sophomore posted a career-high for points with 11. His previous career-high of 10 points came in his collegiate debut at Arkansas and again against Toledo. Miller has now reached double figures three times in his career, two of which came in season openers.
  • Torrey Craig needed just 10 points against Saint Louis to become the 18th player in school history to reach the 1,000 career point mark. Craig buried a three-pointer at the 9:28 mark of the second half to reach the storied total and further etch his name into the Upstate record books.
  • Ricardo Glenn grabbed five rebounds at Saint Louis, including a defensive board at the 17:49 mark of the second half for his 400th career rebound. The junior has played in 62 career games and is now averaging 6.5 rebounds per contest.
  • While USC Upstate only allowed Saint Louis to connect on three of 12 three-pointers, the Billikens had their way in the paint, scoring 46 of their 76 points in the lane. SLU also attempted 22 free throws to just 6 six for Upstate, creating a 16-point differential at the charity stripe in a game that was decided by 17 points.
  • Upstate returns to The Hodge Center for the first time since knocking off Kent State in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament a year ago. The 15-point victory against the Golden Eagles was one of 13 home victories last season as Upstate posted a 13-1 record at The Hodge for a .928 winning percentage.

Torrey Craig Third Fastest to Reach 1,000 Points

A 10-point performance for Torrey Craig last Friday against Saint Louis propelled the youngster to 1,000 career points and made him the 18th player in program history to reach the milestone. The more impressive part is Craig did so in just 65 games, making him the third fastest player to reach 1,000 points.

Only Ulysses Hackett and Willie Murdaugh reached the mark quicker. Murdaugh played just two seasons (1989-1991) at Upstate and accomplished the feat, but he needed every single game to do so, including his last where he reached the 1,000 point mark in his 61st career contest.

Hackett is one of the more remarkable stories in the history of Upstate athletics, averaging 22.6 points per game for 119 games to become the school's all-time scoring leader with 2,688 points. Playing from 1994-1998, Hackett holds the top three single season scoring records and finished his sophomore season with 1,307 points.

The most recent player before Craig to reach the 1,000 point mark was Luke Payne, son of Head Coach Eddie Payne and the Spartans' current assistant coach. Payne reached the total during his senior year in the fall of 2007 and did so in 94 career games. He ended his illustrious career with 1,381 points and ninth on the program's all-time list.

Craig is currently averaging 15.4 points per game for his career. If he holds that pace for the 2012-13 season, he will end the year No. 5 on the program's all-time scoring list.