January 28, 2013

Spartans Continue Homestand Monday with ETSU on ESPN3

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 continue its winning ways at home Monday evening, welcoming ETSU to town for another A-Sun showdown broadcasted nationally on ESPN3.

The matchup between the Spartans (11-10, 5-3 A-Sun) and Buccaneers (6-15, 4-4 A-Sun) is the third game in a five-day span for both teams and will mark the third of five straight home games for Upstate. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST and can be seen live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Gameday Lineup

Date: Mon. Jan. 28 | 7:30 PM EST
Teams: USC Upstate (11-10, 5-3 A-Sun) vs. ETSU (6-15, 4-4 A-Sun)
Location: Spartanburg, S.C. | Hodge Center
TV: ESPN3 | TV Talent: Matt Smith (play-by-play), Jim Heenehan (Analyst)
Radio: ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM / 1400 AM | Radio Talent: Phil Cox (play-by-play)
Live Stats: PrestoSports Primetime
Twitter: @UPSTMBB | #UpstateHoops

Story Lines

  • ETSU leads the all-time series 8-2, but the two squads split the season-series a year ago with both teams claiming wins on their home floor. A win for the Spartans would propel head coach Eddie Payne's team to the top of the A-Sun standings and create a six-way tie for the league-lead.
  • The Spartans have won back-to-back games in the Hodge Center to open the team's longest homestand of the year and have won seven of their last 10 contests. Upstate has come out on top in 19 of its last 22 games inside the Hodge Center and sit at 6-2 at home this season with both losses coming by a combined three points. The Spartans hold a +16.5 scoring margin at home in eight games this season.
  • In each of Upstate's last two wins, the Spartans have led at the half and carried that momentum to victory. Upstate has led at intermission 13 times this season and went on to win in 10 of those occasions and are a perfect 9-0 when leading with five minutes remaining in the second half.
  • In the Spartans current stretch of seven wins in 10 games, Upstate has held its opponents under 65 points in all those victories, while in the three losses the defense has surrendered 70 points or more twice.
  • Following a nine-game losing streak that lasted from Dec. 5 to Jan. 5, ETSU has not won or lost back-to-games, sitting at 4-4 in league play. Coming off a 14-point victory over North Florida on Saturday, the Bucs are looking to win consecutive games for the first time all season.
  • With Upstate leading the A-Sun in three-point field goal percentage (.355) and ETSU sitting ninth out of 10 teams in three-point field goal percentage defense (.360), it might be a perfect time for the Spartans to break out from long range. Upstate has made 10 or more three-pointers a trio of times this season, including a season-high 15 treys against Lipscomb (Jan. 7), the most by any A-Sun team this year.
  • The Spartans continue to be relentless on the glass, leading the A-Sun in rebounding margin (+4.9) and offensive rebounds per game (13.4). Upstate has only been outrebounded once in the last 12 games and the Spartans are 8-4 when outrebounding their opponents.
  • The Spartans are one of three teams in the A-Sun with a positive scoring margin this season, and Upstate's +5.6 scoring margin is tops in the conference. Florida Gulf Coast (4.9) and Mercer (+4.2) are the only other teams in the positive. ETSU is eighth in the league with a -8.5 scoring margin.
  • Ty Greene put together his best collegiate scoring effort Saturday with a 24-point performance against Jacksonville. The defending A-Sun Freshman of the Year scored 11 of Upstate's first 15 points in the contest and a three-pointer with 5:48 left in the second half gave Greene 24 points on the night. His previous scoring high was a 22-point effort he reached Jan. 19 against Mercer.
  • Torrey Craig is currently one steal away from the century mark, sitting at 25 takeaways this season and 99 for his 84-game career. His 1,344 career points rank 10th in program history and 51st in the history of the Atlantic Sun.

POWER RANKINGS BY POMEROY: In the latest rankings by ESPN contributor Ken Pomeroy, the Spartans are the second highest ranked team in the A-Sun and rated No. 164 in the country. Upstate has won seven of its last 10 games, with two of those losses coming by a combined three points. Through various formulas and statistical methods, Pomeroy develops the rankings that many think could be as accurate as any available. The Spartans currently rank as the No. 4 team in the state of South Carolina, sitting only behind Clemson (66), College of Charleston (138) and Charleston Southern (151). Upstate is ranked ahead of South Carolina (174) and Coastal Carolina (181) in the Palmetto State.

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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