BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Torrey Craig (Rock Hill, S.C.) finished with a game-high 20 points as USC Upstate downed Campbell, 70-64, on Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action on Saturday afternoon inside the Pope Convocation Center.
Aside from Craig's 20 points, seniors Josh Chavis (Greensboro, N.C.) and Mezie Uzochukwu (Greensboro, N.C.) finished with 14 and 13 points respectively to help lead the Spartans (5-24, 4-15 A-Sun) to the victory, despite going the final 4:31 without a field goal.
"Campbell made a run to open the second half, but our kids never gave up and we were able to pick up the win," said head coach Eddie Payne. "We did a good job of shooting free throws down the stretch as we finished 22-for-28 in the second half. It was great to have Josh (Chavis) back tonight and he hit several big shots for us tonight and I am proud of the effort our kids put forth tonight
Upstate opened the game on a 9-2 run in the first 3:10 of the contest and the Spartans would lead the Camels (12-18, 6-14) for the duration of the first half.
Upstate took an eight point lead, 18-10, on Babatunde Olumuyiwa's (Athens, Ga.) jumper in the paint with 11:19 remaining in the first half.
Campbell got as close as three, 22-19, in the first half when Rico Ferguson sank a jumper with 3:49 to play in the half.
Upstate was able to close the half on a 9-2 run as they carried a 10-point lead (31-21) into the locker room.
Campbell opened the second half on a 16-5 run as they took a one-point lead, 37-36, with 11:33 to play when Eric Griffin slammed home a pass from Rico Ferguson.
The Camels took their largest lead of the game, two points (41-39), with 8:46 to play on a successful dunk by Eric Griffin.
Chavis connected on a triple from the right wing as he put the Spartans in front, 43-41, at the 8:36 mark. The Spartans would never relinquish the lead as they pushed the lead to as many as 10 in the final minute of play.
Four different Camels reached double figures on Saturday and they were led by Junard Hartley's 16 points. Preston Dodson added 15, while Eric Griffin and Amir Celestin pitched in 14 and 10, respectively.
Upstate finished the game 20-for-47 (42.6%) and connected on eight three pointers (19 attempts; 42.1%). Meanwhile, Campbell finished 25-for-56 (44.6%) but connected on just two of its nine three point attempts (22.2%). The Camels finished 12-for-22 (54.5%) at the line.
Upstate finished with a 18-10 advantage in second chance points and owned a 19-7 lead in bench scoring. Campbell led the way in points in the paint (30-18), points off of turnovers (12-10) and transition scoring (8-2).
The Spartans will return to Spartanburg as they wrap-up the regular season on Monday night against Florida Gulf Coast. The game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m., with senior night festivities honoring Josh Chavis and Mezie Uzochukwu to precede tip-off.