Spartans Take Center Stage in Music City Friday Evening

Spartans Take Center Stage in Music City Friday Evening

Contact: David Beall,


NASHVILLE, TENN. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team ends a two-game road trip Friday evening in the Music City, traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Tennessee State at the Gentry Center with tip-off set for 8 p.m. EST.

The Matchup between the Spartans and Tigers will be the first meeting between the two programs. Both clubs are coming off road losses and will be looking to pick up a win before taking an extended break for the holidays.

Fans can follow online through a live video broadcast by clicking here. ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM and 1400 AM will broadcast the game that can also be heard online by clicking here. Fans can follow on twitter @UPSTMBB and can join the conversation with the hashtag #UpstateHoops.

Story Lines

  • Tennessee State marks the final stop in 11 of 13 road games for the Spartans to open the season. Over those 11 road games, Upstate has touched down or taken off in 13 different cities and played in seven different states.
  • The Spartans gave Baylor all they could handle Monday in Upstate's second televised game of the year. The score changed hands nine different times and was deadlocked 12 times, including 46-46 with 9:58 to play.
  • Ricardo Glenn's 7-for-8 performance from the field at Baylor sparked a season-high 15 points for the junior. He also added 10 rebounds to secure his first double-double of the year and just the second of the season for the Upstate.
  • Torrey Craig struggled from the field at the Ferrell Center with a 3-for-12 night, but a sparkling 8-for-9 stint from the charity stripe extended his double-digit scoring streak to 10 games.
  • Monday at Baylor marked the first time all season Upstate outrebounded its opponent but failed to win the game. The Spartans pulled down four rebounds above their season average, while holding the Bears six below their average mark.
  • Ty Greene and Adrian Rodgers are closing in on scoring milestones, as Greene is 17 points away from 500, while Rodgers is 20 points shy of 400.
  • After a Friday showdown with Tennessee State, Upstate returns home to face Coastal Georgia Dec. 30 for the final game of the calendar year, before welcoming Hampton to the Hodge Center Jan. 2 to ring in the New Year.
  • At 4-6 on the year, Upstate will need to win its final three non-conference games to climb over the .500 mark for the first time this season. The Spartans open Atlantic Sun Conference play on the road, traveling to league newcomer Northern Kentucky Jan. 5, before returning to Nashville Jan. 7 to take on Lipscomb.
  • The Tigers have won four of their last six games, but Tuesday night Tennessee State renewed an in-state rivalry with Middle Tennessee State and suffered a 29-point loss on the road.
  • Three Tennessee State players average double figures, led by 17.4 points per game by Robert Covington. The senior gets it done all over the court, shooting 40 percent from the field, 32 percent from long range and 82 percent from the free throw line. He finished a rebound shy of a double-double at MTSU with 17 points and nine boards.
  • TSU is perfect at home this season, posting a 3-0 record and doing so in style. In those three wins, the Tigers' average margin of victory is 29.6 points, including a 40-point victory over LeMoyne Owen College.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: (Baylor's Scott Drew) "This is a game that as a coach, you know that your opponent is a lot better than people might realize. You can see them in the NCAA tournament winning a game."

(Kansas State's Bruce Weber) "They have a really good ball club. When we looked at it going into all these non-conference games they had 21 wins last year and the best turn-around in the country."

(Saint Louis' Jim Crews) "I thought they were good coming in, and I know they're good coming out. Every time we made a mistake, they drilled us every single time. It was uncanny. If we made a defensive slip, we got burned."

DAY-TO-DAY: Through the first eight games of the season Upstate played on all seven days of the week, posting a 3-5 record. The Spartans picked up wins on Monday, Thursday and Friday through the first eight games of the year. Upstate is currently 1-1 on Friday and will look to improve that mark against Tennessee State.

AT HOME IN THE HODGE: The Spartans have seen plenty of recent success in the Hodge Center, winning 10 straight and 15 of their last 16 games for a .937 winning percentage. The last time Upstate dropped a game at home was Jan. 9 against Mercer. The nine-point loss to the Bears came over 300 days ago.

WEEKLY SUCCESS: Following a career-high 31 points against UTSA on Dec. 8, Torrey Craig earned the sixth A-Sun Weekly honor of his illustrious career. He was named the A-Sun Newcomer of the Week twice during his Freshman of the Year campaign, Player of the Week three times as a sophomore during his Player of the Year season and now earns the first weekly award of his junior year. He was also recognized as the College Sports Madness Player of the Week.

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