Asheville, N.C. – Ramel Thompkins and Mike Cunningham combined for 28 points on Wednesday evening as the USC Upstate men's basketball team fell to the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 82-70, in non-conference play at Kimmel Arena.
Upstate falls to 3-6 overall while UNC Asheville improves to 5-2 on the season.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- Thompkins led the Spartans offensively with 15 points in 34 minutes of playing time.
- Cunningham added 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and went 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
- Jure Span and Deion Holmes each contributed nine points.
- Span grabbed a season-high seven rebounds to go with four assists.
- Avery Diggs tied his career-high in rebounds after pulling down a team-leading eight and added six points.
- Ahmad Thomas and MaCio Teague paced the Bulldogs offense with 24 and 22 points, respectively.
- Thomas finished with a double-double after grabbing 11 rebounds.
- Jonathan Baehre contributed 13 points off the bench.
- Upstate finished the game shooting 40.0 percent (22-of-55) from the field and 76.2 percent (16-of-21) at the free throw line.
- The Spartans held a 10-9 advantage over UNC Asheville in second chance points.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- Upstate opened the game on a 7-1 run and Thompkins gave it a 10-3 lead less than three minutes into the contest with his 3-pointer.
- The Bulldogs followed by scoring the next 10 points to go in front 13-10 at the 14:10 mark.
- Overall, UNC Asheville outscored the Spartans 21-2 over a stretch over 8:31 and led by 11 points, 23-12, with 8:14 remaining.
- Span and Thompkins would connect on a pair of 3-pointers during the Bulldogs run and made the score 25-18 with 7:20 left.
- Upstate got as close as five points three times during the final five minutes of the half beginning at the 4:58 mark when Thompkins put the score at 28-23 with his triple.
- Thompkins added three free throws with 3:39 remaining to cut UNC Asheville's lead down to 31-26.
- The Bulldogs extended their lead back to 10 points, 39-29, with 2:23 to go on a 3-pointer by Thomas.
- The Spartans finished the half on a 6-1 run and trailed 40-35 at halftime.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- Upstate continued its run into the second half outscoring UNC Asheville 7-3 and was down one, 43-42, at the 17:56 mark when Span connected on a 3-pointer.
- The Bulldogs went back in front by eight before the Spartans answered with a free throw by Thompkins and Thomas Booker 3-pointer to put them down 50-46 with 14:28 left.
- UNC Asheville would go in front by double-digits with 12:15 remaining as Teague's 3-pointer gave it a 56-46 advantage.
- Following three free throws by Cunningham, the Bulldogs recorded eight consecutive points to take their largest lead of the game at 67-49 with 8:54 remaining.
- UNC Asheville maintained its double-digit lead until the 4:32 mark when Cunningham made two 3-pointers.
- The triples by Cunningham sparked a late rally for Upstate as it went on a 7-0 run, covering a stretch of 1:20, and cut the Bulldogs lead down to 72-65 after his four-point play. Cunningham scored all seven of the Spartans points during the run.
- UNC Asheville took a 10-point lead with 2:39 to go and led by double-figures the rest of the contest.
- Thomas was successful on one of two free throws to give the Bulldogs an 80-66 lead with 35 seconds left.
- Booker's layup with 13 seconds to go cut the Spartans deficit down to 80-70.
- Kevin Vannatta made two free throws with 12 seconds left to put the final score at 82-70.
- Upstate makes the short trip to Boiling Springs, N.C. on Saturday, Dec. 2 to face another Big South opponent, Gardner-Webb, at 3 p.m.
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