Upstate Wins Thriller at Virginia Tech to Open Season
Blacksburg, Va. – Ty Greene scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and USC Upstate won its first-ever game over an ACC opponent with a 64-63 victory over Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.
Upstate senior Jodd Maxey hit a baseline jumper with 6:32 left in the second half to put the Spartans ahead 62-58 before Virginia Tech forward Cadarian Raines scored the next four points for the Hokies to tie the score at 62-62 with just over four minutes to play.
Both teams went scoreless for the next 2:17 before Babatunde Olumuyiwa used a hook shot in the paint to put Upstate ahead 64-62 at the 1:52 mark. On the ensuing Virginia Tech possession, Maxey recorded one of his two blocked shots, but the Hokies managed to gain possession of the rebound and a foul on Maxey sent Jarell Eddie to the free throw line. Eddie missed the second of two free throws and Olumuyiwa secured the rebound for Upstate.
Torrey Craig drove down the floor on the following Upstate possession, but his shot attempt was blocked out of bounds by Joey van Zegeren. The Spartans were unsuccessful on their next shot attempt following the rejection by van Zegeren, giving Virginia Tech another opportunity to take the lead. The Spartans, however, thwarted that opportunity when Olumuyiwa rejected a shot by Eddie past the Hokie three-point line. Virginia Tech corralled the loose ball and attempted a quick pass down low into the paint, but the ball deflected off Devin Wilson's hands and into the grip of Fred Miller with just over three seconds to play.
Miller flung the ball down court in an attempt to run out the clock, but the ball dribbled out of bounds with 1.3 seconds left to play. A final three-point attempt from van Zegeren sailed high over the backboard to give Upstate its first season-opening win since 2005.
Craig added 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots, while Glenn added 10 points and three rebounds. Eddie led Virginia Tech with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Raines scored all of his 17 points in the second half.
USC Upstate and Virginia Tech battled back-and-forth for the first seven minutes of the game before the Hokies built a six-point advantage on a three-pointer from Ben Emelogu. The Spartans answered with an 11-2 run capped by a layup from Mario Blessing to give Upstate a 20-17 edge with just under nine minutes remaining.
The lead changed eight times over the final 6:34 of the first half with neither team holding a lead larger than three points. Blessing knocked down a three-pointer with 2:31 left on the clock to put Upstate ahead 30-28, but Will Johnston answered on the other end for Virginia Tech with a trey of his own to put the Hokies back ahead by one point. Glenn scored the final bucket of the half when he converted an old fashioned three-point play with 43 seconds left to send Upstate into halftime leading 33-31.
USC Upstate returns to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Rock Hill, S.C., to take on in-state rival Winthrop from the Winthrop Coliseum.