Greene’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts Spartans Past Bison, 62-61
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee native Ty Greene (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a step back three-pointer as time expired to lift the USC Upstate men's basketball team to a 62-61 victory over Lipscomb Saturday night inside Allen Arena.
"We didn't come to play tonight," said head coach Eddie Payne. "When we got behind, we showed that we believed we still could win the contest. For me, that is very gratifying."
Lipscomb opened the contest on a 5-0 run over the first 1:25 of the contest. The Spartans committed turnovers in their first two possessions, including a shot-clock violation.
Upstate cracked the scoring column when Greene hit a three-pointer with 17:52 to play in the half. Greene's triple sparked an 8-0 run for the Spartans as the club took an 8-5 lead with 16:31 remaining. Ricardo Glenn (Augusta, Ga.) had a tip-in and Greene sank another three-pointer to give the Spartans a three-point lead.
The Spartans were able to maintain the lead until Lipscomb regained the lead (23-22) on a Carter Sanderson lay-up with 3:38 showing on the clock. The Bison were able to extend the lead to as many as six in the final minutes.
Lipscomb was able to take a 33-27 lead into the locker room at intermission. Upstate was led in the first 20 minutes by Greene and Babatunde Olumuyiwa (Athens, Ga.) with seven and six points, respectively. Lipscomb was paced in the opening half by Justin Glenn's eight points.
Lipscomb extended its lead to 13 (45-32) in the opening minutes of the second-half, but the Spartans refused to go quietly.
Still trailing by 13 (49-36) with 13:07 to play, Upstate began to climb back into the contest. The Spartans used a 10-0 spurt over a span of 2:25 to trim the deficit to just three points, 49-46.
Lipscomb once again pushed the lead to five, 57-52, with 5:03 to play, before a 7-0 Spartan spurt gave the visiting club a 59-57 lead with 3:31 to play. Olumuyiwa had a pair of buckets during the run, while Craig sank a three.
Lipscomb closed the gap to one on a free throw by Martin Smith with 1:19 to play and the Bison regained the lead, 61-59, on a triple by Smith with 14 seconds to play.
After the Spartans raced across half-court, Coach Payne used a time out to draw up the final play. Adrian Rodgers drove toward the basket with time winding down and dished the ball to Greene along the left wing. Greene, trying to shake defenders, took a step back and drilled the game-winning three as time expired.
"We knew if they went zone, the odds were we would not be able to execute what it was we wanted to do," Payne added. "The goal was for Ty to slip behind Adrian on the drive and the ball was supposed to wind up in Ty's hands for him to see what he could do. We did that and Ty wound up making the shot to win the game for us."
"There was nothing going through my mind when I let that last shot go," said Greene. "I had two defenders on me and I used a step back move to try to create separation. I knew it went it, but I didn't know where I was on the floor and my teammates, who rushed at me after it went in, signified that it was a three. I give God all the glory, he is the one that has helped me get to this point."
Greene paced the Spartans with 17 points, while Olumuyiwa added 13 points to go along with two blocks. Jodd Maxey (Statham, Ga.) pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Lipscomb was paced by Deonte Alexander's 12 points.
The Spartans close out the two-game road swing Monday night at Belmont. Tip-off inside the Curb Event Center is slated for 7 p.m. (CT).