Hot-Shooting Spartans Take Down Texas State, 82-74
EDINBURG, Texas – USC Upstate shot 70 percent from the floor in the second half as the Spartans held off Texas State for an eight-point win Sunday evening inside the UTPA Fieldhouse.
Upstate (3-2) held the high-octane Bobcats (3-2) in check during the first half, as the Spartans limited Texas State to just 22 points. Texas State entered Sunday's contest averaging 92.0 points per contest.
With Upstate in front, 2-0, the Bobcats took their lone lead of the contest when Eddie Rios sank a three-pointer, putting Texas State ahead, 3-2, with 17:26 to play in the first.
The Spartans regained the lead, 4-3, when Ricardo Glenn (Augusta, Ga.) connected on his lay-up with 17:06 left in the first period. The Spartans were able to push the lead to double-digits with 4:50 remaining in the first half. Rob Elam (East Point, Ga.) sank his jumper from just outside the paint, putting Upstate ahead by 11 at 27-16.
"I told our kids if we would have played better in the first half we might have owned a 20-point lead at the half," said head coach Eddie Payne. "Overall, I am proud of the effort of our guys today. Texas State made a few runs at us, but we never lost our composure and we were able to get the win."
Upstate's largest lead of the half, came on a pair of successful free throws by Jodd Maxey (Statham, Ga.). Maxey's pair put the Spartans in front by 12 (31-19) with 18 seconds remaining.
The Bobcats clawed back into the contest and trailed by just three points (52-49) with just under 11 minutes to play.
Upstate used a 9-2 run to push the lead to 12 at 61-49. Glenn tallied four points during the run, while Ty Greene's (Knoxville, Tenn.) triple from the wing gave the Spartans the 12-point lead with 9:29 left in the second half.
The Spartans took its largest lead of the contest after a slam dunk by Glenn. Glenn's dunk pushed the Upstate margin to 16 at 67-41 with 7:42 to play.
Texas State narrowed the gap to seven, 81-74, but just 27 seconds remained in the contest. Adrian Rodgers (Alpharetta, Ga.) connected on one of two free throw attempts with 11 seconds to go, setting the final margin at 82-74.
The Spartans were led by Glenn and Torrey Craig (Great Falls, S.C.). Glenn posted a career-high 19 points against the Bobcats, while Craig tallied a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Rodgers also contributed to the Spartan effort with 13 points.
Texas State had three different players reach double figures. Eddie Rios led the way with 21 points, while John Bowman and Matt Staff scored 11 points and 10 points, respectively.
The Spartans will return to Spartanburg, S.C., tomorrow to begin preparations for a three-game homestand beginning Friday afternoon against Texas-Pan American (3 p.m.).