December 6, 2012

Spartans Return Home for Rematch with UTSA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

GAMEDAY CENTRAL | GAME NOTES

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate men's basketball team returns home for the first time in seven games this Saturday, welcoming the University of Texas San Antonio to town for the second meeting this season between the two programs.

The matchup between the Spartans and Roadrunners is the second meeting in the last three weeks after Upstate let an early lead slip away and fell 67-59 in San Antonio.

Fans can follow the contest through a live video broadcast on A-Sun.TV 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

  • After six consecutive road games, the Spartans return home to the friendly confines of the Hodge Center where Upstate has won nine straight games and 14 of its last 15 for a .933 winning percentage.
  • The Spartans seemed to hold a commanding first-half lead at UTSA earlier this season, leading 26-12 with 5:20 remaining in the first half, but a 14-3 spurt by the Roadrunners to close the half stole the momentum and UTSA took the lead for good with just over six minutes remaining in the contest.
  • While Upstate continues to struggle on the boards with a -1.5 rebound margin, UTSA has been even worse on the glass with -8.0 rebounding margin. The Spartans average 32.8 rebounds per game to just 30.0 for the Roadrunners. UTSA outrebounded Upstate 37-26 when the two teams met last month.
  • While the Spartans are being outrebounded by their opponents, Upstate has crashed the offensive boards, pulling down double-digit offensive rebounds in each of its last five games. The Spartans currently lead the A-Sun in offensive rebounds at 12.9 per contest.
  • The full court man-to-man defense implemented by Upstate has been a nightmare for opponents, resulting in 132 turnovers and a +3.0 turnover margin. The turnover margin is currently tied with Mercer for the best in the A-Sun.
  • Upstate has struggled in the first half of games this year, trailing at the half in five of the eight games. The Spartans have managed to erase the halftime deficit and record a comeback win just once, knocking off UNC Asheville on the road after trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half. The only halftime lead Upstate has surrendered all year came on the road at UTSA.
  • The free throw line has become anything but free for the Spartans this season, shooting just 60 percent from the charity stripe through the first eight games. The team has missed 52 free throws, including a season-high 11 at Kansas State. Upstate opponents have attempted 37 more free throws and missed seven less.
  • Jodd Maxey put together his best performance of the year last Sunday at Kansas State, going 6-for-8 from the field for a season-high 13 points. He pulled down three rebounds and recorded a game-high two blocks.
  • Torrey Craig extended is double-digit scoring streak to eight straight games to start the season with an 11-point performance at Kansas State. The junior is third in the Atlantic Sun at 17.8 points per game and ranks fifth in the league in three-pointers made with 19.

The Sixth Man in the Hodge Center: Upstate students, fans and supporters packed the Hodge Center to at least 90 percent capacity in nine of the 14 home games last season to create an electric environment for the Spartans. In a radio interview Wednesday evening, sophomore Ty Greene commented on the student cheering section spearheaded by the Upstate baseball team. "Those are our boys. They come out in force and get after the opposing team. They are the heart and soul of the Hodge Center."

Follow Upstate men's basketball all season long on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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