Spartans, Hatters Set to Battle in CSS Game of the Week
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After a come from behind victory over Kennesaw State on Monday night, the USC Upstate men's basketball team will travel to DeLand, Fla., as they will battle the Stetson Hatters in the CSS Game of the Week.
When the Spartans and Hatters last met, the Spartans posted season highs in three-pointers (13) and assists (19 - on 26 FG's). Despite the strong effort, the Spartans were unable to take down the Hatters who shot a blistering 60.0% from the floor and claimed the 74-71 victory on Jan. 8, 2011.
In the Spartans last outing, Torrey Craig was the lone Spartan to reach double-figures, but his career-high 27 points helped the Spartans claim the five point win despite three Kennesaw State players reaching double figures on Monday night.
Fans in the Spartanburg area can catch Friday's game live on channel 36, tip time is slated for 7:06 p.m. The game will also be streamed live online on ESPN3.com (subject to local blackouts).
• Monday's win over Kennesaw State was the first game the Spartans have won this season when owning the advantage on the glass. The Spartans, who out-rebounded the Owls 41-40, were 0-7 when winning the battle on the glass before Monday's victory.
• Freshman Torrey Craig recorded his 13th straight game reaching double figures with 27 points against Kennesaw State and he has scored double figures in 15 of his last 17 outings.
• Senior Josh Chavis sits just 17 assists shy of 300 for his career.
• Senior Mezie Uzochukwu grabbed career rebound number 500 against Mercer and became the 15th player in school history to surpass the 500 rebound plateau.
• Freshman Babatunde Olumuyiwa has 58 blocks on the season putting him third in the single-season record books.
• Freshman Torrey Craig has five 20-plus point performance on the season, two of the five came against Kennesaw State (Jan. 3, 25; Jan. 31, 27).
Today's Opponent – Stetson
Since Stetson claimed a 74-71 victory over Upstate on Jan. 8 in Spartanburg, S.C., the Hatters have managed to win just one game. The Hatters defeated Mercer, 79-72, on Jan. 14.
During Stetson's six-game skid, it has a pair of one-point losses (Kennesaw State and Savannah State) and a triple-overtime loss against Florida Gulf Coast.
The Hatters have a pair of players averaging double figures. Ridge Graham leads the team with 13.2 ppg, while Corey Walden ranks second with 11.3 ppg. Graham also leads the team in rebounding (6.2 rpg).
Stetson owns the all-time series lead 4-2 and owns a 3-0 record in DeLand, Fla., in fact, Stetson's win at the Hodge Center (Jan. 8) was the first road win for either team in the series.
Spartan Stars Align?
On Monday night, the USC Upstate men's and women's basketball teams both picked up victories over Kennesaw State, but there were several interesting similarities between the two games as Upstate claimed its first men's/women's doubleheader win of the season.
• Both the men's and women's teams won by five points (Men, W, 59-54; Women, W, 69-64)
• The Spartan TC's scored game-highs of 27 points to lead their respective teams
-Men's No. 23 Torrey Craig, 27 points (10-for-20 FG's; 5-for-9 3FG's; 2-for-2 FT's)
-Women's No. 23 Tee'Ara Copney, 27 points (6-for12 FG's; 4-for-7 3FG's; 11-for-12 FT's)
Upstate freshman Torrey Craig ranks sixth nationally (among freshmen) with a scoring average of 14.8 ppg. The only freshmen ahead of Craig are: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State, 18.0 ppg), Terrence Jones (Kentucky, 17.9 ppg), Brandon Knight (Kentucky, 17.2 ppg), Trey Zeigler (Central Michigan, 17.0 ppg) and DeAndre Kane (Marshall, 15.7 ppg).
Craig recorded 15 rebounds against ETSU (12/5), which places him in a tie for 16th in a single game (among freshmen), while his 14 rebound performance against UNC Asheville (11/29) places him in a tie for 25th (among freshmen). His rebounding average of 7.0 rpg, places him 19th (among freshmen) nationally.