Upstate Set to Face No. 2 Ohio State Wednesday Night
Spartanburg Herald-Journal Game Capsule
Spartanburg Herald-Journal: USC Upstate has its work cut out for it vs. No. 2 Ohio State
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team will close out the Ohio portion of its 10-day road swing when it battles No. 2 Ohio State Wednesday night inside the Value City Arena.
Wednesday's contest between the Spartans and the Buckeyes will air on the Big Ten Network. FS Ohio is offered on Channel 610 on DirecTV, Channel 439 on Dish Network and Channel 650 (1650 HD) on U-Verse. For those with other television providers, check your listings.
For those fans that do not have the Big Ten Network, 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 audio, live stats and live video links above.
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• Wednesday's contest at Ohio State is the third of a seven-game road swing for the Spartans. Upstate will close out its 10-day road trip as it heads to Florida for its first two league games of the year (Stetson, Dec. 17; Florida Gulf Coast, Dec. 19).
• The battle against the Buckeyes will be the highest ranked opponent the Spartans have faced during the Division I era. Upstate faced a pair of ranked foes during the 2008-09 season (L, 58-94, at No. 9 Notre Dame, 11/16/08; L, 40-90, at No. 14 Gonzaga, 3/3/09).
• Upstate connected on 50.9% of its field goal attempts (29-of-57) at Dayton (12/11/11). It was the first time this season the Spartans dropped a contest despite shooting 50.0% or better from the floor.
• Torrey Craig reached the 20-point plateau for the third consecutive game with a 21-point performance in Upstate's four-point loss at Dayton (12/11/11). Craig had 20, including the game winning basket, against Jacksonville State (12/1/11), followed by a career-best 28 points at UNC Asheville (12/4/11).
• The Spartans lead the A-Sun in rebounding defense (29.6), rebounding margin (+6.7) and offensive rebounds (15.1). The squad is second in the league in field goal percentage (.467) and steals (9.7 spg)
• Upstate ranks 16th nationally in steals per game (9.7) and 35th in rebounding margin (+6.7).
• Torrey Craig posted a career-high 28 points at UNC Asheville (12/4/11). He finished 7-of-16 from the floor and a perfect 10-for-10 at the charity stripe. Craig becomes the first player to hit 10 or more FTs in a single game since the 2009-10 campaign (Pat Posey, 12, vs. Jacksonville, 1/31/10). He is just 21 points shy of career point number 600.
• Chalmers Rogers had eight points at halftime and finished with a career-best 10 points against UNC Asheville (12/4/11).
• Mario Blessing and Torrey Craig combined for eight of Upstate's 14 assists against the Bulldogs (12/4/11).
• 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).
Today's Opponent – Ohio State
Ohio State enters Wednesday night's contest with an 8-1 overall record after falling at then-No. 13 Kansas Saturday afternoon.
Despite the loss, the Buckeyes remain the nation's No. 2 ranked team, sitting behind Syracuse. After the Orange's 28 first-place votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll, the Buckeyes picked up the only two remaining first-place votes.
Jared Sullinger, who has not played in the Buckeyes last two contests due to back spasms, leads the club in scoring (19.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.3). William Buford and Deshaun Thomas also average double-digits with 16.6 ppg and 13.6 ppg, respectively. Aaron Craft sits just below the double-figure mark with 9.9 ppg.
The Buckeyes are a perfect 8-0 at home this season including an 85-50 victory over A-Sun member North Florida (Nov. 21). Ohio State also defeated Texas-Pan American (W, 64-35, Dec. 3); Upstate defeated the Broncs twice this season.
RPI: Palmetto State Edition
According to RealTimeRPI.com the Upstate men's basketball team finds itself ranked 178th in the RPI (out of 345 teams in Division I). Among schools in the state of South Carolina, Upstate's RPI is seventh best. The Spartans are just 15 spots behind ACC member Clemson and sit 43 spots ahead of SEC member South Carolina.
20 Again, Again and Again
Upstate forward Torrey Craig has reached the 20-point plateau in each of the last three games. Against Jacksonville State (12/1/11), Craig connected on what proved to be the game-winner with 18 seconds to play en route to a 20-point performance against the Gamecocks. Against UNC Asheville (12/4/11), Craig posted a career-high 28 points. He finished a perfect 10-for-10 at the line and was first Spartan in nearly two years to hit 10 or more FTs in a single-game. In the Spartans four-point loss at Dayton (12/11/11), Craig scored a game-high 21 points and tied a season-high with nine made field goals.
In three of Upstate's four losses, the Spartans held a lead inside the final eight minutes, including two losses while owning a lead with less than 3:03 to play.