Spartans Look to Continue Hodge Center Hot Streak
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - After briefly stepping out of conference play on Saturday at NC State, the USC Upstate men's basketball squad returns to the friendly confines of the Hodge Center where they will put their perfect home mark on the line against A-Sun foe Campbell.
Before falling to the Wolfpack, 79-60, on Saturday, the Spartans won a pair of thrilling games to christen the newly renovated Hodge Center. Against UNC Asheville, Carter Cook sank four free throws in the final minute of the second overtime as Upstate claimed the 93-91 victory. In the conference opener against ETSU, Chalmers Rogers connected on a layup with three seconds remaining to help lift Upstate to the 60-59 win, its first-ever win over the Bucs.
Campbell claimed a 82-69 victory in Spartanburg a season ago and the Camels downed the Spartans 66-46 in Buies Creek, N.C., to push their series lead to 4-2.
• The Spartans are 2-2 all-time on December 16, last falling to Winthrop, 62-53, in the Hodge Center, in 2009.
• Freshman Babatunde Olumuyiwa led the Spartans on Saturday at NC State as he came off of the bench to post 14 points (6-for-9 shooting), four rebounds, two blocks and one assist.
• Freshman Chandler Hash set a career-high against the Wolfpack with 12 points behind a 4-for-5 performance from beyond the three point arc.
• Senior Josh Chavis has 12 assists in his last three games, he had just 10 in the Spartans first six outings.
• Senior Mezie Uzochukwu surpassed the 700 career point plateau at NC State as he became the 39th player in school history to accomplish that feat.
• In two games in the Hodge Center, freshman Torrey Craig has two double-doubles (10p, 14r - UNC Asheville and 18p, 15r - ETSU).
• Through the first nine games of the season, a Spartan newcomer has led the team in scoring in all but one game (Michigan - Chalmers Rogers).
With the 60-59 victory over ETSU on Sunday afternoon at the Hodge Center, Upstate has now won nine consecutive home conference openers. Upstate's streak began on Jan. 11, 2003 when Upstate (then a member of D-II and the Peach Belt Conference) defeated Armstrong Atlantic State 63-62. Since moving to D-I, Upstate has won four straight home conference openers (Gardner-Webb (1/10/08), North Florida (1/3/09), Stetson (11/30/09) and ETSU (12/5/10)).
This is Home
After a $4 million renovation of the Hodge Center, made possible by the generous donation of Mrs. Dodie Anderson (USC Upstate, '81), the Spartans have christened the new facility with a pair of thrilling victories. In the opening game, the Spartans defeated UNC Asheville, 93-91, in double-overtime on Nov. 29. Tony Dukes hit a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 69 apiece. In the second-overtime, Carter Cook connected on two free-throws with 6.9 seconds left as Upstate claimed the victory.
In the conference opener, USC Upstate was ahead or tied for all but 1:18 against ETSU, but it was Chalmers Rogers layup with three seconds remaining that gave the Spartans the 60-59 win over the Bucs. Rogers' layup in the final seconds was his only basket of the game.