January 24, 2011

Spartans Continue Whirlwind Adventure on Tuesday at ETSU

ETSU Game Notes

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate continues its hectic schedule of five games in 11 days as they travel to Johnson City, Tenn., for its first rematch game of the 2010-11 season as it is scheduled to battle ETSU on Tuesday night.

Earlier this season the Spartans (2-17, 1-8) picked up their first ever win over ETSU (13-8, 8-2) with a thrilling 60-59 win over the Bucs in Spartanburg on Dec. 5.  Chalmers Rogers layup from the right side of the paint found the bottom of the net with 3.2 seconds remaining.

The Bucs raced the other way and had a chance to win but Micah Williams' three from the left wing bounced off of the back of the rim and the Spartans won its second straight game inside the newly renovated Hodge Center.

Last season in Johnson City (Feb. 21, 2010), the Spartans owned an 18-point lead in the first half and led by 10 at the break but could not hang on as ETSU rallied for the 63-56 win.

Spartan Tip-off…

• Freshman Torrey Craig recorded his 10th straight game reaching double figures and he has scored double figures in 12 of his last 13 outings.

• Freshman Shane Porchea started his third consecutive game on Sunday afternoon against Lipscomb.

• Freshman Babatunde Olumuyiwa recorded a career-best four assists on Friday against Belmont.

• Freshman Torrey Craig recorded his fourth 20-point game of the season with 23 points on Friday night. Craig also recorded his third career double-double as he finished with 10 rebounds against the Bruins.

• Freshman Torrey Craig finished with five of Upstate's nine treys against Belmont.  It was the third time in his career that the Rock Hill, S.C., native finished with five treys in a game.

• Seniors Josh Chavis and Mezie Uzochukwu continue their climb up the all-time scoring chart.  Chavis ranks 30th with 779 career points, while Uzochukwu is for 31st with 759 points.

Today's Opponent – ETSU

Following Upstate's 60-59 victory on Dec. 5, won eight straight conference games and ran its conference record to 8-1 prior to Sunday's battle for first with Belmont.

Belmont claimed a 72-62 win in Johnson City, Tenn., ending the Bucs eight game conference win streak (nine games overall).

Three different Bucs are averaging double-figures in scoring and are led by Mike Smith (15.9 ppg).  Micah Williams and Isiah Brown also average double figures with 13.6 and 10.4 ppg, respectively.  Smith and Brown are tied for the team lead with 7.2 rebounds per outing.

Close calls have been the norm for the Bucs this season as they have had seven games that have been decided by five points or less (5-2).

Twenty for Torrey

Since the calendar flipped to 2011, freshman Torrey Craig has been riding an offensive high.  In four of the six games thus far, the Rock Hill, S.C., native has scored 20 or more points.  He posted a career-high 25 at Kennesaw State (1/3), followed by 24 against Stetson (1/8) and 20 at North Florida (1/15).  He tallied 23 in the Spartans upset bid against Belmont and tied a career-high with five triples.

Spartan Shuffle

So far this season Upstate has used 11 different starting lineups, which is tied with Cal State Fullerton for the fifth most in the nation in 2010-11.  Pepperdine and Saint Louis lead the way with 13, followed by Memphis and Sacramento State who each have used 12 different lineups.

Fantastic Freshmen

The freshmen duo of Babatunde Olumuyiwa and Torrey Craig find themselves near the top of the national rankings. 

Among national leaders, Olumuyiwa finds himself tied for 18th in blocks per game (2.58 bpg) and he is currently ranked 2nd among freshmen.  In blocks in a single game, the Athens, Ga., native is tied for fourth (with 9) with C.J. Aiken (St. Joseph's), D.J. Covington (VMI) and Aaric Murray (La Salle).  The trio trails only William Mosley (Northwestern State) and Ty Walker (Wake Forest) who each recorded 11 in a single game this season and Sam Muldrow (South Carolina) who had 10.

Torrey Craig sits tied for ninth nationally (among freshman) with 14.2 points per outing.  He also recorded 15 rebounds against ETSU, which places him in a tie for 14th in a single game (among freshmen), while his 14 rebound performance against UNC Asheville places him in a tie for 23st (among freshmen).