Chavis Records Career Triple Number 200, but Spartans Fall on Senior Night
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – On Monday night, the USC Upstate men's basketball program honored its two graduating seniors (Josh Chavis and Mezie Uzochukwu) with a pre-game ceremony, however the Spartans fell to Florida Gulf Coast, 81-65, inside the Hodge Center.
At halftime, Josh Chavis (Greensboro, N.C) had two made three-pointers and it seemed all but a formality that the senior, who canned a school-record 10 three's against FGCU a season ago would hit at least one in the final stanza.
As the clock wound down it appeared that Chavis may not reach the milestone, but with 2:54 remaining, the senior drained a trey from the top of the key to hit number 200 for his career, becoming just the third player in school history to accomplish the feat.
The first half was a back and forth affair with neither team gaining a double-digit advantage. The Spartans (5-25, 4-16 A-Sun) found themselves in a 17-8 hole with 11:03 remaining but used a 10-3 spurt to cut the FGCU (10-20, 7-13) lead to just two, 20-18, with 9:04 to play in the first half. The Eagles owned a 36-33 halftime lead thanks to a three pointer by Sherwood Brown with 35 seconds remaining in the period.
Between the end of the first half and the start of the second half, Upstate suffered a scoring drought of 7:19. The first Spartan basket of the second half came at the 13:36 mark, when senior Mezie Uzochukwu (Greensboro, N.C.) connected on a jumper. Uzochukwu's basket halted the 13-0 run the Eagles opened the second-half on. Uzochukwu's jumper cut the Eagle lead to 14, 49-35.
Upstate trailed 63-48 with less than six minutes to play but Upstate used a 14-5 run to cut the deficit to just six, 68-62, with 2:08 to play. The Spartans were unable to get any closer down the stretch and FGCU claimed the 16 point victory.
Upstate was led by rookie Torrey Craig (Rock Hill, S.C.) who finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Tony Dukes (Ellenwood, Ga.) also reached double figures as he posted 12. Mezie Uzochukwu finished with nine points and seven rebounds in his final collegiate game, while his roommate, Josh Chavis had nine points to go along with two assists and two steals.
The Spartans were unable to counteract the hot hand of Sherwood Brown. Brown finished Monday night with 26 points behind a 9-for-14 effort from the floor, including a 7-for-10 mark from beyond the arc. Anthony Banks and Christophe Varidel also reached double figures with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Monday night marked the final game of the NCAA reclassificationperiod for the Spartans and beginning with the 2011-12 season, Upstate will be eligible for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.