Spartans Set for Showdown at UNC Asheville

Spartans Set for Showdown at UNC Asheville

Contact: David Beall,


SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate men's basketball team returns to action Thursday evening in the midst of a season-long six-game road swing, traveling to nearby UNC Asheville for a showdown with the Bulldogs at Kimmel Arena.

The Spartans are coming off a week in California that saw the team drop two of three games at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, while the Bulldogs appeared in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament and fell in all three contests.

Upstate will take on UNC Asheville for the 13th time in program history with the Bulldogs holding a 7-5 edge. The two squads have met just twice in the last 10 seasons however, with Upstate picking up a two-point victory at home in 2010, and falling 88-81 on the road last season.

Fans can follow Upstate against UNC Asheville through a live video broadcast by clicking here and live in-game statistics by clicking here. ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM and 1400 AM will broadcast the game that can also be heard online by clicking here. Fans can follow on twitter @UPSTMBB and can join the conversation with the hashtag #UpstateHoops.

Story Lines

  • Despite winning just one game at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, the Spartans ended the tournament in style as they ran all over Utah Valley 75-50 for the most lopsided victory in the six-game event.
  • While UNC Asheville enters Thursday's contest with a 1-5 record, the Bulldogs have fallen to teams in the ACC, SEC and BIG EAST by 10 points or less, including a two-point loss to 16th-ranked NC State last week.
  • UNC Asheville has become tagged as a mid-major darling over the last two years with back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a near upset of top-ranked Syracuse in the opening round last March.
  • UNC Asheville dropped all three games in the annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament, falling to Tennessee, Akron and Providence. The only win on the year for the Bulldogs came at home, knocking off Western Carolina in a 10-point victory.
  • Torrey Craig was named to the CBE Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament team as he averaged 16.7 points per game over the Thanksgiving week classic, including Upstate's first double-double of the year in the finale with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
  • The Spartans jumped out to their hottest start of the year against Utah Valley, scoring on their first 10 possessions and racing out to a 20-point halftime lead. Upstate started a scorching 16-19 from the floor and went on to shoot 52 percent from the field.
  • Adrian Rodgers has inserted himself into the starting lineup after three straight double-digit scoring efforts in California, including a season-high 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting against Utah Valley. Rodgers is second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game and leads the club at 91percent from the free throw line.
  • The Spartans have outrebounded their opponents just twice this season, resulting in the only two wins of the year. Upstate edged Hiwassee in the boards by 11 and Utah Valley by 10, while ending dead even in rebounds with Eastern Washington in a five point loss. The Spartans currently rank 305th in the country with 31.2 rebounds per game and have a -0.5 rebounding margin.

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