First-Half Shooting Woes Doom Spartans on Sunday
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Lipscomb held USC Upstate to its lowest points total in any half this season as the Bisons led wire to wire in the 76-55 victory on Sunday afternoon inside the Hodge Center.
Upstate (2-17, 1-8) managed just 14 points in the first half, its previous low in 20 minutes of action was 17 points in the second half in the season opener at Michigan (Nov. 13).
In the first 20 minutes of play, the Spartans managed to shoot just 4-for-27 from the floor (14.8%). Meanwhile, Lipscomb (11-8, 6-4) shot 62.5% from the floor in the first half as the Bisons connected on 15 of their 24 attempts and finished 6-of-8 (75.0%) from beyond the arc as they took a 39-14 lead into the locker room.
Lipscomb opened the game on a 17-2 run over the first 9:27 of play and the Spartans would fail to recover as the Bisons maintained a double digit lead the rest of the game.
Upstate suffered a drought of more than eight minutes between baskets in the first half.
Lipscomb continued its offensive attack to open the second half as it pushed the lead to 30, 54-24, with 15:24 to play. The Bisons kept the Spartans at bay the entire second half as the lead stretched to as many as 31 and the Spartans never got any closer than 19.
Torrey Craig (Rock Hill, S.C./Great Falls) was able to extend his streak to 10 games of scoring in double figures as he led all scorers on Sunday with 14 points behind a 6-for-10 effort from the floor. Mezie Uzochukwu (Greensboro, N.C./Northeast Guilford HS) finished with 13 points, his best output since 15 against UNC Asheville on Nov. 29.
As a team the Spartans shot 32.3% for the game as they connected on 20 of their 62 attempts. The Spartans struggled from beyond the three point line as just three of 25 shots found the bottom of the net.
Meanwhile, Lipscomb shot 60.0% for the game, going 30-for-50 from the floor and hitting 7 of 15 three point attempts.
Upstate was able to convert 22 Bisons turnovers into 20 points, but it wasn't enough to help the Spartan cause on Sunday.
The Bisons were led by Adnan Hodzic and Jordan Burgason who finished with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.
Lipscomb led the way in points in the paint (36-24), second chance points (12-9), fast break points (8-4) and bench scoring (36-15).
Upstate rounds out its schedule of back-to-back-to-back games against opponents from the state of Tennessee on Tuesday night as they travel to Johnson City, Tenn., to face the Bucs of ETSU. ETSU will be looking for revenge after the Spartans handed the Bucs a 60-59 setback in the Hodge Center on Dec. 5. Tip-off on Tuesday night is slated for 7:00 p.m.