SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team will open the 2011-12 home slate Monday night when the Spartans battle the Piedmont College Lions. Tip-off inside the Hodge Center is slated for 7 p.m.
For those fans that cannot attend Monday's home opener, there are several ways you can follow the action from the opening tip to the final horn. Fans can follow the action by clicking the live stats and live video links above.
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• In the 2010-11 home opener, the Spartans claimed a 93-91 double-overtime victory over UNC Asheville, the eventual Big South Conference Champions. Babatunde Olumuyiwa and Carter Cook each tallied a career-high 16 points, and it was Cook's free throws with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second overtime to lift the Spartans to the two point win.
• Jodd Maxey made his first start in a Spartan uniform against Arkansas. Friday's contest marked the first time Maxey had played in a collegiate game since the 2009-10 season. He spent his freshman season at South Carolina State and sat out the 2010-11 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
• Newcomers led the way in the opener at Arkansas. Miller tallied a team-high 10 points, with Blessing tallying three assists and Greene recording four steals. Maxey rejected a pair of Razorback shots Friday night.
• The Spartans return nine players from last season's squad and welcome six newcomers. Upstate welcomes four freshmen to the team [Mario Blessing, Ty Greene, Fred Miller and Adrian Rodgers] and a pair of junior college transfers [Jeremy Ford and Aru Kok].
• Last season, Babatunde Olumuyiwa led the A-Sun in blocks (71) and blocks per game (2.37).
• As a freshman, Torrey Craig ranked in the top-10 in the conference in five different statistical categories [Rebounding (3rd, 7.2 rpg), Defensive Rebounding (3rd, 4.93 drpg), 3-Point Field Goals Made Per Game (4th, 2.27 pg), Scoring (7th, 14.4 ppg) and Offensive Rebounding (T-8th, 2.27 orpg)].
• At South Carolina (11/23/10), Babatunde Olumuyiwa set an Upstate single-game record with nine blocked shots. His nine rejections tied an A-Sun single game record and was the third-highest total against the Gamecocks [Derek Holcomb (Illinois, 12/8/78, Champaign, Ill.) and Shaquille O'Neal (LSU, 2/19/92, Columbia, S.C.)]
• Carter Cook sank two free throws with 6.9 seconds remaining in double overtime against UNC Asheville (11/29/10) to lift Upstate to a thrilling 93-91 victory over the Bulldogs in the first game inside the newly renovated Hodge Center.
• Chalmers Rogers scored what proved to be the game-winning basket in a 60-59 victory over ETSU (12/5/10, Hodge Center).
• At Virginia Tech (12/30/10), Shane Porchea scored a career-best seven points in the Spartans' upset-bid against the Hokies.
• Ricardo Glenn scored a career-high 16 points behind a career-best five field goals against Jacksonville (2/13/11).
Today's Opponent – Piedmont College
Piedmont College opens its 2011-12 slate Monday night at Upstate. The squad posted a 10-16 record and finished second in the Great South Conference.
Four starters from last year's squad return, including a trio of players that averaged double-figures. Josh Haymore led the way with 15.0 ppg, while Michael Ross (13.0 ppg) and Will Skaggs (11.3) ranked second and third, respectively. Returner, Tracey Gardner led the team in rebounding with 8.0 rpg.
Following Monday's battle in Spartanburg, the Lions will return to the court Nov. 22 in their home opener against Toccoa Falls.
Looking Back at Arkansas
Arkansas led wire-to-wire as the Razorbacks claimed an 83-63 victory over the visiting USC Upstate Spartans Friday night inside the Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas (1-0) controlled the contest from the opening tip as it scored the first basket of the game and never trailed. The Razorbacks opened the game on a 19-3 run over the first 5:35 of the contest.
The Spartans (0-1) managed to cut the deficit to single-digits (23-14) when Babatunde Olumuyiwa (Athens, Ga.) was successful on his lay-up attempt. Arkansas was able to quickly push the lead back to double-figures and carried a 41-28 lead into the locker room at intermission.
Arkansas had another big run, 11-2, to open the second half as it pushed its lead to 20 points at 52-32. The Spartans followed with a run of their own, 10-0, cutting the deficit in half at 52-42 with 11:58 remaining. Ricardo Glenn (Augusta, Ga.) scored five of the 10 points for the Spartans during the run.
The Razorbacks' speed and pressure again troubled the Spartans as they pushed the lead back to 20 with 7:09 to play and Arkansas led by as many as 26 down the stretch (79-53). The Spartans were led by rookie Fred Miller's (Atlanta, Ga.) 10 points paced the Spartans while a pair of Razorbacks reached double figures (Marshawn Powell, 19; Rickey Scott, 11).