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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team shot lights out on road at Lipscomb University Monday evening, drilling 15 three-pointers and cruising past the Bisons 98-61 at Allen Arena in Atlantic Sun Conference action.
The Spartans (8-7, 2-0 A-Sun) set a season-high in points and improve to 2-0 in league action for the second straight year with the win, while Lipscomb (6-9, 1-3 A-Sun) has now dropped four of its last five games.
"This was a really nice win for us," Upstate Head Coach Eddie Payne said following the win. "We played well in all phases of the game and played consistently in all phases of the game."
Following a hard fought six-point win at Northern Kentucky to open A-Sun play, the Spartans showed no sign of a letdown as they ran all over Lipscomb, knocking down 15 three-pointers and leading by as many as 44 points in the second half. The 15 made treys is the most by any team in the league this season.
The Spartans opened the game on fire, scoring on their first seven possessions, including back-to-back three-pointers from Mario Blessing to give Upstate an early 12-6 lead.
"They went under a couple screens on Mario and he knocked them down and then he hit one against the zone that was big," Payne said. "He is the kind of player that energizes our guys when he makes plays and he made a handful of them early."
Six different players got in on the early run as the Spartans quickly created a double-digit lead on an Adrian Rodgers three-pointer with 15:06 left, creating an 11-point lead at 19-8.
The long ball continued to fuel the Upstate attack in the first half as the Spartans connected on 10 three-pointers in the opening period and led by as many as 19 points when Torrey Craig hit a three-pointer to give Upstate a 49-30 lead at the break.
The Spartans never let up to open the second half, scoring 13 straight points and racing out to a 32-point lead at 62-30. Blessing got the action started again with a four-point play and answered the call again two possessions later with his career-high fifth three-pointer on as many attempts.
Lipscomb never threatened the Spartan lead in the second half as five Upstate players finished in double figures, led by 20 points from Rodgers on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.
Ty Greene caught fire from long range with five triples as the sophomore finished with 19 points and five assists. Blessing was as perfect as you can be, never missing from the field as he hit all five three-point attempts and his lone free throw for a career-high 19 points.
Glenn continued his good work with 11 points, eight rebounds and a career-high six assists, while Craig was back in familiar double-digit form with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Spartans will now return home and welcome Florida Gulf Coast University to town Thursday evening for another Atlantic Sun Conference matchup. Upstate will be looking to continue its current 12-game home winning streak when the Eagles invade the Hodge Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.