Spartanburg, S.C. – For the third time this season, and second in conference play, the USC Upstate men's basketball team had five players score in double-figures but the Spartans would suffer a 100-80 setback to the North Florida Ospreys on Saturday afternoon at the G.B. Hodge Center.
USC Upstate falls to 6-16 on the season and 1-4 in league play while North Florida improves to 9-13 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- The Spartans saw five players score in double-figures led by Deion Holmes for the second straight game with 16 points and four rebounds on seven field goals.
- Mike Cunningham contributed 15 points while Ramel Thompkins had 10.
- Malik Moore collected his fourth double-double of the season on 13 points, and a team-high 11 rebounds and six assists.
- Carson Smith came off the bench and set a new career-high in scoring with 12 points after shooting 6-of-6 from the floor.
- The Ospreys also had five players score at least 10 points with Noah Horchler finishing with a double-double on a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds.
- Ivan Gandia-Rosa also added a double-double on 13 points and 13 assists.
- USC Upstate finished the game shooting 33-of-75 (44.0 percent) from the field and forced North Florida into 16 turnovers.
- The Spartans led 46-30 in points in the paint, 21-15 in second chance points, 4-0 in fast break points and 34-3 in bench points.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- USC Upstate took an early 5-3 lead less than two minutes into the game when Cunningham and Avery Diggs combined for back-to-back baskets. Cunningham knocked down a 3-pointer at the 18:15 mark and put the Spartans in front by two.
- The Ospreys would then outscore USC Upstate 20-4 over the next seven minutes and went ahead 23-9 with 11:05 remaining on a jumper by Garrett Sams.
- The Spartans followed by scoring the next seven points and cut their deficit down to 23-16 with 8:21 left after Cunningham made three free throws.
- USC Upstate trimmed its deficit down the six points, 30-24, with 5:19 to go on a pair of free throws by Holmes.
- North Florida led by 11 points three times over the final 6:26 capped off when Horchler's layup at the 2:15 mark increased its lead to 39-28.
- The Spartans closed the half on a 7-0 run with Moore scoring four of the points and Cunningham three.
- A 3-pointer by Cunningham with 1:06 to go sent USC Upstate into halftime trailing 39-35.
- The Ospreys were held scoreless over the half's final 2:14.
- North Florida scored nine of the first 11 points of the second half and held a 48-37 advantage at the 18:00 mark on a 3-pointer from Trip Day.
- The Spartans cut the lead down to nine points, 50-41, with 16:35 left when Thompkins connected on a jumper.
- The Ospreys answered with a 14-1 run taking up almost four minutes and went ahead 64-42 with 12:56 remaining on Day's layup.
- Jure Span and Thomas Booker combined for five straight points and made the score 64-47 less than a minute later.
- USC Upstate got as close as 15 points in the second half when Holmes got a defensive rebound and layup with 7:39 remaining to make the score 79-64.
- The scoring margin stayed between 16-20 points for a majority of the half.
- Moore knocked down a 3-pointer at the 3:40 mark and got the Spartans within 16 points at 92-76.
- North Florida took its largest lead of the game at 100-76 with 1:43 remaining after Horchler made two free throws.
- USC Upstate did not allow a field goal over the final 1:42 and recorded the last four points.
- Smith's layup with 1:13 to go put the final score at 100-80.
- The Spartans travel to Nashville, Tenn. on Wednesday, Jan. 24 for a 7:30 p.m. EST contest against the Lipscomb Bisons.
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