January 3, 2013

Spartans Open A-Sun Play at Northern Kentucky

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

GAMEDAY CENTRAL | GAME NOTES

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team opens Atlantic Sun Conference play Saturday evening, traveling to league newcomer Northern Kentucky to take on the Norse at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

The matchup between the Spartans and Norse will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The 7 p.m. tip-off will mark the home opener for Northern Kentucky and the first-ever A-Sun game played inside The Bank of Kentucky Center that opened in 2008.

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

  • The Spartans put a lid on a two-game home stand Wednesday evening with a 19-point victory over Hampton, marking the 12th consecutive home victory for Upstate inside the Hodge Center. The last time Upstate dropped a game at home was Jan. 9, 2012 against Mercer. The Spartans next play at home Jan. 10 against Florida Gulf Coast, insuring Upstate's winning streak will last a full calendar year.
  • Upstate has won its last three conference openers, the longest streak in A-Sun. The Spartans are 3-2 all-time in A-sun openers, dropping their first two, before picking up their last three, two of which came at home.
  • After earning A-Sun Freshman of the Year two seasons ago and A-Sun Player of the Year last spring, Torrey Craig enters conference play as the league's leading scorer at 18.2 points per game. His 237 points this season top the A-Sun charts. Last season Craig averaged 16.4 points per game for the year and 16.9 points per game during conference action.
  • While Northern Kentucky has yet to play a Division I home game, the Norse saw plenty of success on their home floor the past three years, posting 40 wins to just seven losses.
  • NKU picked up its first-ever A-Sun victory Wednesday evening, going on the road and knocking off North Florida 65-52. Chad Jackson's season-high 21 points and five steals paced the Norse.
  • The Spartans are averaging 69.7 points per game to just 56.4 for Northern Kentucky. Upstate has a +4.1 scoring margin, while the Norse hold a -5.0 scoring margin for a difference of 9.1.
  • Ricardo Glenn continues his stellar play in the middle, averaging 9.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per contest, a statistic that ranks second in the A-Sun. He finished three points shy of his fourth consecutive double-double against Hampton.
  • Ty Greene is back in double figures at 10.9 points per game following a season-high 17 points against Hampton. The defending A-Sun Freshman of the Year is shooting 32.5 percent from long range and 35.7 percent from the field to go along with 32 assists.
  • The Spartans have reached the 40-rebound mark in each of the last three games, pulling down 40 boards at Tennessee State, a season-high 47 against Coastal Georgia and 46 against Hampton. Upstate is 3-1 on the season when recording at least 40 rebounds.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: (Baylor's Scott Drew) "This is a game that as a coach, you know that your opponent is a lot better than people might realize. You can see them in the NCAA tournament winning a game."

(Kansas State's Bruce Weber) "They have a really good ball club. When we looked at it going into all these non-conference games they had 21 wins last year and the best turn-around in the country."

(Saint Louis' Jim Crews) "I thought they were good coming in, and I know they're good coming out. Every time we made a mistake, they drilled us every single time. It was uncanny. If we made a defensive slip, we got burned."

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