Spartans Peach State Bound to Battle Kennesaw State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

GAMEDAY CENTRAL | GAME NOTES

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team will look to win its third consecutive road conference game Thursday evening, traveling to Kennesaw State University for a 7 p.m. tip-off inside the KSU Convocation Center.

The matchup between the Spartans (8-9, 2-2 A-Sun) and Owls (2-15, 1-4 A-Sun) will be the 27th all-time meeting between the two squads and will be broadcasted live on A-Sun.TV.

Gameday Lineup

Date: Thur. Jan. 17 | 7:00 PM EST
Teams: USC Upstate (8-9, 2-2 A-Sun) at Kennesaw State (2-15, 1-4 A-Sun)
Location: Kennesaw, Ga. | KSU Convocation Center
TV: A-Sun.TV | TV Talent: Nathan McCreary and Brian Katrek
Radio: ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM / 1400 AM | Radio Talent: Phil Cox (play-by-play)
Live Stats: KSUOwls.com
Twitter: @UPSTMBB | #UpstateHoops

Story Lines

  • Upstate holds a 17-9 lead in the all-time series and has dominated as of late, winning seven straight games and eight of the last nine against Kennesaw. The Spartans dominated the season series last year, winning both games by double digits.
  • After posting the best home record in the A-Sun a year ago, the 2012-13 edition of the Spartans might feature some swagger on the road after opening the season with back-to-back conference road victories over Northern Kentucky and Lipscomb. Upstate has not lost in the KSU Convocation Center over the past three seasons.
  • Thursday's showdown just outside the ATL features the top scorers in the league as Markeith Cummings (18.6) and Torrey Craig (17.1) go head-to-head for the first time this season. The duo finished as the top two scorers in the league a year ago with Craig edging Cummings by one full point per game and earning A-Sun Player of the Year honors. Last season, Craig outscored Cummings 43-26 in head-to-head games.
  • Kennesaw State has managed to win just one home game in six attempts this season, but the Owls made the most of that one victory, knocking off preseason favorite Mercer two weekends ago. Delbert Love and Markeith Cummings combined to score 53 points to fuel the eight-point victory over the Bears.
  • Ty Greene continues to sizzle from long range, hitting on 15 of his last 28 three-point attempts and tying his career-high for three-pointers in a game with five in each of his last three A-Sun contests. The Knoxville, Tenn., native ranks fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage at .376, and sits third in the A-Sun in total three-pointers made with 41.
  • Jodd Maxey has continued to rise up and block shots all season, swatting 25 shots and sitting tied for the league lead with 1.5 blocks per game. Maxey has recorded a block in 14 of 17 contests, notched eight multi-block games and has blocked a trio of shots in three different outings this season.
  • With nine more rebounds against Stetson last Saturday, Ricardo Glenn has taken over the league-lead at 8.4 rebounds per contest. The junior's 70 offensive boards are 20 clear of the next highest total in the conference. Glenn is also third in the A-Sun in field goal percentage at .577.
  • The Spartans currently lead the A-Sun with a +4.4 rebounding margin that is fueled by a league-leading 13.8 offensive rebounds per game. Upstate has outrebounded its opponents in seven of its last eight contests.
  • Head Coach Eddie Payne is looking for win No. 150 at USC Upstate, currently sitting on 149 wins in his 11th season at the helm of the Spartans. Payne picked up career victory No. 400 last season and currently has 409 wins in 29 seasons as a head coach.

BRACKETOLOGY BREAKDOWN: Upstate was featured in Joe Lunardi's Jan. 8 ESPN Bracketology as the representative from the Atlantic Sun to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans were featured as a play-in game in the EAST Region, taking on Norfolk State for the right to play top-seeded Duke. Five other opponents on the schedule this season were also picked in the bracketology, including Saint Louis, Kanas State, Tennessee State, UNC Asheville and Baylor.

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."

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