January 9, 2013

Spartans Host FGCU for Thursday Showdown on ESPN3

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

GAMEDAY CENTRAL | GAME NOTES

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After a perfect 2-0 road trip to open Atlantic Sun Conference play, the USC Upstate men's basketball team returns home to face a surging Florida Gulf Coast University squad Thursday evening in the Hodge Center on ESPN3.

The matchup between the Spartans (8-7, 2-0 A-Sun) and Eagles (11-6, 3-1 A-Sun) features two of the hottest teams in the league that have combined to win six straight games. Tip-off is set for 7:03 p.m. EST and will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN3.

Gameday Lineup

Date: Thur. Jan. 10 | 7:03 PM EST
Teams: USC Upstate (8-7, 2-0 A-Sun) vs. FGCU (11-6, 3-1 A-Sun)
Location: Spartanburg, S.C. | Hodge Center
TV: ESPN3 | Talent: Matt Smith (play-by-play), Jim Heenehan (Analyst)
Radio: ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM / 1400 AM | Radio Talent: Phil Cox (play-by-play)
Live Stats: PrestoSports Primetime
Twitter: @UPSTMBB | #UpstateHoops

Story Lines

  • FGCU leads the all-time series 6-4. Upstate picked up both wins in the regular season a year ago, topping the Eagles 80-75 on the road and 87-74 in the Hodge Center, but FGCU had the last laugh, taking down the Spartans in the quarterfinals of the A-Sun Tournament.
  • Thursday's showdown on ESPN3 features the top two offenses in the league. FGCU averages 71.6 points per game, while Upstate scores 70.9 points per contest. The Spartans top the league in scoring margin at +6.4, followed by the Eagles at +4.4.
  • The Spartans have gone a full calendar year without a loss in the Hodge Center, winning 12 consecutive games at home over the last 366 days. The 12-game winning streak is tied for 13th longest in the nation with Iona, Western Kentucky and Wyoming. The Spartans have won their last eight home games by double figures.
  • The Spartans are the only remaining unbeaten team in the Atlantic Sun, sitting at 2-0 in league play. Over the past four years, the last team to lose an A-Sun game has advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Upstate has started 2-0 in league play each of the last two years, but dropped its third game last season on the road at ETSU.
  • Monday's 37-point win at Lipscomb was the Spartans biggest winning margin in A-Sun play since entering the league six years ago as they defeated the Bisons 98-61. Upstate led by as many as 44 points in the second half.
  • The Spartans placed five players in double figures for just the second time this season in Monday's rout of Lipscomb. Five Upstate players also reached double-digits in its home opener against Hiwassee on Nov. 12.
  • Ricardo Glenn has been dominate for the Spartans over the last six games, posting four double-doubles, five double-digit rebound games and five double-digit scoring games. He leads the league with 8.5 rebounds per contest and sits second in field goal percentage at .590. Following an A-Sun road game at Northern Kentucky, Coach Eddie Payne referred to Ricardo as "one of the premier post players in the league."
  • Torrey Craig relinquished his league lead in scoring over the last road trip, dropping to 17.0 points per game to rank second behind Kennesaw State's Markeith Cummings. Craig has reached double figures in 14 of 15 games this season and 32 of his last 36 contests.
  • With four straight wins, Upstate currently holds the longest winning streak in the league. The Spartans put together three separate four-game winning streaks a year ago, two of which came in A-Sun action. Upstate is looking for its first five-game winning streak since entering the Division I ranks.

BRACKETOLOGY BREAKDOWN: Upstate was featured in Joe Lunardi's latest ESPN Bracketology as the representative from the Atlantic Sun to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans were featured as a play-in game in the EAST Region, taking on Norfolk State for the right to play top-seeded Duke. Five other opponents on the schedule this season were also picked in the latest bracketology, including Saint Louis, Kanas State, Tennessee State, UNC Asheville and Baylor.

MAXEY HONORED BY COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS: After recording 21 points and 16 rebounds in wins over Hampton and Northern Kentucky, junior forward Jodd Maxey was named the College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week. He was on the brink of his first collegiate double-double in both games, scoring 13 points and adding nine rebounds against Hampton, before coming back and scoring nine points to go along with seven rebounds at NKU."Jodd has made an improvement in his play here lately, particularly from a consistency standpoint," said Upstate head coach Eddie Payne. "He has been getting his points and rebounds, but he has also been more active defensively."

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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