Payne Tallies Career Win Number 400 as Spartans down Hatters, 90-72
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Four different USC Upstate men's basketball players reached double-figures as the club posted an 18-point victory over Stetson Saturday afternoon inside the Hodge Center.
Upstate closed out the regular-season with a 20-11 mark and a 13-5 record in league play. It was the first time in the D-I era that the Spartans posted 20 or more wins and the 20 wins tie the win total from the previous three seasons. The win also gave head coach Eddie Payne his 400th career win and heading into next week's Atlantic Sun Tournament, Coach Payne owns a career-record of 400-390.
In the first half, the two teams battled back and forth over the first 14 minutes of the contest and with 6:21 to play in the opening half, Stetson (9-20, 6-12) owned a 30-26 lead.
After Chris Perez's lay-up gave the Hatters a four-point lead, Upstate closed the half on a 16-0 run to take a 42-30 lead into the locker room at halftime. Torrey Craig (Great Falls, S.C.) scored the final 10 points of the half to lead the Spartan surge.
Upstate led by as many as 26 in the final 20 minutes before the final tally was set at 18 (90-72).
Chris Perez paced the Hatters with 23 points (10-13 FG) while Adam Pegg posted 17 points.
The Spartans finished the 2011-12 home slate with a 12-1 record.
Upstate (No. 3 seed) will now prep for the A-Sun Tournament as they will face Florida Gulf Coast (No. 6) Thursday, Mar. 1 at 8:30 p.m. in Macon, Ga.
A-Sun Quarterfinals (All Games on ESPN3)
(1) Belmont vs. (8) Jacksonville, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.
(2) Mercer vs. (7) Lipscomb, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.
(3) Upstate vs. (6) Florida Gulf Coast, Thursday, 8:30 p.m.
(4) ETSU vs. (5) North Florida, Thursday, 2:30 p.m.