Upstate Set for First Trip to UNC Asheville Since 1985
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the first time since January 14, 1985, the USC Upstate men's basketball team will make the trip up Interstate 26 for a Sunday afternoon battle at UNC Asheville.
The contest will be televised on WMYA, the sister station to WLOS Channel 13 in Asheville. WMYA is offered on Channel 5 on Charter and on Channel 40 on AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network and DirecTV.
For those fans that are not in the WMYA market, 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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• Sunday's contest at UNC Asheville begins a seven-game road swing for the Spartans. Aside from a trip to Asheville, Upstate will travel to Dayton, Ohio State, Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast, South Carolina and ETSU before finally returning home to face Kennesaw State on Jan. 7.
• Against Jacksonville State (12/1/11), Torrey Craig connected on what proved to be the game-winner with 18 seconds to play. His jumper in the paint was career field goal number 200. He was the only player on either team to reach double figures and he finished with a double-double (20 points, 13 rebounds).
• Babatunde Olumuyiwa and Torrey Craig were the only two Spartans to make three or more field goals against the Gamecocks (12/1/11).
• Torrey Craig, Ty Greene and Adrian Rodgers combined to hit 11 of Upstate's 13 free throws in the win over Jacksonville State (12/1/11).
• Five Spartans reached double-figures against Victory (11/27/11): Torrey Craig (16), Adrian Rodgers (14), Babatunde Olumuyiwa (12), Carter Cook (11) and Ty Greene (10).
• Against Victory (11/27/11) Shane Porchea scored a career-best eight points. He tied a career-mark with three made field goals. Babatunde Olumuyiwa tallied three of Upstate's four blocks. Carter Cook recorded the other Spartan rejection. Ty Greene led the Spartans with three assists, tying a career-high. Eight other players recorded at least one assist against the Eagles.
• Torrey Craig paced the Spartans with 20 points in the 78-63 victory over UTPA (11/25/11). Craig connected on 7-of-10 FG attempts (2-5, 3FGs) and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the line. Adrian Rodgers and Ricardo Glenn pitched in 12 points and 11 points, respectively, to help Upstate claim their second home victory of the season.
• The Spartans tallied 16 assists on 28 made field goals against UTPA (11/25/11).
• Ricardo Glenn earned UTPA Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament honors as well as A-Sun Player of the Week accolades after averaging 14.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per outing in three games in Edinburg, Texas. Glenn also sank 69.6% of his field goal attempts over the weekend.
• Ricardo Glenn set career marks in points (19) and field goals made (8) in Upstate's 82-74 win over Texas State (11/20/11).
• Ty Greene scored a career-best 20 points in the five-point loss to Toledo (11/19/11). Greene connected on a career-best five triples against the Rockets.
Today's Opponent – UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville enters Sunday's contest with a 4-4 record. The Bulldogs have alternated two wins and two losses through the first eight contests of the season (won last two games).
Asheville opened Big South Conference play as they rallied past Gardner-Webb Thursday night in Boiling Springs, N.C. Prior to winning the battle of the Bulldogs, the squad posted a 1-2 mark in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The Bulldogs dropped the first two games to UConn (L, 63-73) and College of Charleston (L, 66-68) before downing Utah (W, 87-65).
Matt Dickey leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 16.1 ppg, while three other players average double-digits in scoring (J.P. Primm, 13.8; Jaron Lane, 11.8; Chris Stephenson, 11.6). Jeremy Atkinson is the team's leader in rebounding at 6.3 rpg.
Asheville's other two wins came against Mars Hill and Brevard College.
After using five different lineups in its first five games, Upstate reverted back to a familiar lineup against UTPA (W, 78-63, 11/25/11). Upstate has used the same starting five in its last two contests (Victory, W, 88-54, 11/27/11; Jacksonville State, W, 50-48, 12/1/11). The Spartans are now 4-0 when Mario Blessing, Torrey Craig, Ricardo Glenn, Ty Greene and Chalmers Rogers make up the starting five.
For the first time in the Division I era, Upstate is riding a four-game win streak. The Spartans began the streak with a neutral site victory over Texas State (W, 82-74, 11/20/11). The squad picked up back-to-back-to-back home wins over Texas-Pan American (W, 78-63, 11/25/11), Victory University (W, 88-54, 11/27/11) and Jacksonville State (W, 50-48, 12/1/11).
Prior to this four-game win streak, the longest win streak for the Spartans was three games win streak during the 2008-09 campaign. That season, Upstate won at Jacksonville (W, 70-59, 2/1/09), before downing both Stetson (W, 54-53, 2/7/09) and Florida Gulf Coast (W, 71-62, 2/9/09) in the Hodge Center.
The Spartans have opened the 2011-12 season on a four-game home winning streak. Upstate last won its first four home contests in the 2005-06 season. Upstate opened the '05-06 season with home wins over Limestone (W, 75-64, 11/26/05), UNC Pembroke (W, 82-65, 12/3/05), Mars Hill (W, 79-77, 12/10/05) and Wingate (W, 71-69, 1/4/06). The Spartans won its first five home games that year and finished with a 10-3 mark at the Hodge Center.