Lipscomb Looms Thursday Evening as Homestand Rolls On

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

GAMEDAY CENTRAL | GAME NOTES

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – With three straight home wins under its belt, the USC Upstate men's basketball team looks to keep a perfect homestand intact Thursday evening, welcoming Lipscomb to town for an Atlantic Sun Conference Showdown at 7 p.m. inside the Hodge Center.

The matchup between the Spartans (12-10, 6-3 A-Sun) and Bisons (8-12, 3-6 A-Sun) is the second meeting this season and 12th all-time between the two programs. LU holds a slight 6-5 edge in the all-time series despite having lost three straight to the Spartans.

Thursday night will be Zaxby's Appreciation Night in the Hodge Center with the first 150 students receiving free Zaxby's food. Zaxby's "Indescribably Good Food" will also be given away during in-game promotions throughout the evening.

Gameday Lineup

Date: Thur. Jan. 31 | 7:00 PM EST
Teams: USC Upstate (12-10, 6-3 A-Sun) vs. Lipscomb (8-12, 3-6 A-Sun)
Location: Spartanburg, S.C. | Hodge Center
TV: TBA
Radio: ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM / 1400 AM | Radio Talent: Phil Cox (play-by-play)
Live Stats: PrestoSports Primetime
Twitter: @UPSTMBB | #UpstateHoops

Story Lines

  • Upstate dismantled Lipscomb Jan. 7 in Nashville, knocking down 15 three-pointers creating the largest margin of victory in A-Sun play since entering the league in 2007. The 15 treys is the most in a single game by any A-Sun team this season
  • The Spartans are looking to continue their dominance at home, having won 20 of their last 23 games inside the Hodge Center, including a 7-2 mark this season with both losses coming by a combined three points. The Spartans hold a +16.6 scoring margin at home in nine games this year.
  • Upstate's recent three-game win-streak has catapulted the Spartans to a tie for first place in the A-Sun standings with five other schools. The logjam at the top of the league features Upstate, FGCU, Mercer, Jacksonville and Stetson all sitting at 6-3 through the midway point of the conference schedule.
  • The Spartans continued their torrid pace from long range Monday evening, knocking down 11 three-pointers in just 24 attempts. Upstate's 36.1 percent from behind the arc currently leads the A-Sun, while Ty Greene and Torrey Craig both rank in the top six in the league in three-pointers made.
  • For just the second time this season the Spartans trailed at the half Monday evening and rallied for the win. Upstate is 10-3 when leading at the half and 2-7 when trailing at the intermission. The Spartans are deadly when leading with five minutes remaining in the second half, currently sitting at 10-0.
  • The top two rebounding teams in the A-Sun will square off Thursday evening as Upstate holds a league-best +4.5 rebounding margin, while Lipscomb is second at +2.4. The two squads are also deadlocked atop the conference at 13.0 offensive boards per game.
  • The rebounding battle will also extend to the top two big men in the league, as Ricardo Glenn leads the league in rebounds per game at 8.4, while the freshman sensation Stephen Hurt is second at 8.2 boards per contest. Glenn is also the top offensive rebounder in the conference, grabbing 4.0 per contest.
  • Upstate dished out 23 assists on 28 field goals Monday against ETSU, the second-most by the team this season. The Spartans' 357 assists are the most by any A-Sun team and their 1.2 assists/turnover ratio is also the league's best.
  • The Spartans are one of three teams in the A-Sun with a positive scoring margin this season, and Upstate's +6.1 scoring margin is tops in the conference. Florida Gulf Coast (+4.9) and Mercer (+4.2) are the only other teams in the positive. Lipscomb is eighth in the league with a -8.9 scoring margin.

STEALING THE SHOW: While Torrey Craig was busy draining a season-high six three-pointers on just eight attempts Monday evening against ETSU, his steal with 12:17 remaining in the game marked the 100th takeaway in the junior's storied career. Currently second in the league at 17.1 points per game, Craig is making a case for his second straight A-Sun Player of the Year honor and third major conference award in as many years.

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 behind FGCU (152) and rated No. 167 in the country. Upstate has won eight of its last 11 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 (71), College of Charleston (142) and Charleston Southern (151). Upstate is ranked ahead of South Carolina (174) and Coastal Carolina (183) 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."

(ETSU's Murry Bartow) "We are a young team so you have these ups and downs, but Upstate has a very good team and you can't let up against them."

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