Columbia, S.C. – Ricardo Glenn tied a career-high with 21 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead USC Upstate to a 74-68 over South Carolina Thursday afternoon from Colonial Life Arena.
The victory was the first-ever win for Upstate over South Carolina and the first win in school history over a Southeastern Conference opponent. It's also the second win of the season for the Spartans over a team from a power conference, as Upstate defeated Virginia Tech 64-63 to open the season.
Sindarius Thornwell paced South Carolina with 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Tyrone Johnson finished with 11 points.
South Carolina limited USC Upstate to just five field goals and 16 points over the first 15 minutes of the opening half and built a 33-16 lead with just under five minutes remaining. Upstate responded with a 17-4 run to close the half to pull within four points at halftime.
The Gamecocks pushed their lead up to eight points in the opening minutes of the second half, but Upstate used a 12-3 run thereafter to take 46-45 lead following a layup from ShunQuez Stephens. A jumper by Thornwell and a pair of free throws from Johnson on the next two South Carolina possession pushed the Gamecocks back ahead 49-46 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Upstate answered with an 11-5 run capped by a thunderous putback dunk from Craig to give the Spartans a 61-54 lead with 4:52 left on the clock. South Carolina quickly trimmed the lead to three points with baskets from Bruce Ellington and Demetrius Henry, but two free throws from Stephens put Upstate back ahead by five points.
Ellington and Greene traded three-pointers on the next two possessions to leave Upstate ahead 66-61 with 2:51 to play. Thornwell hit a layup and Johnson followed with two free throws to trim the Upstate deficit to one point with 1:21 remaining. Miller put Upstate ahead 69-65 when he converted an old fashioned three-point play after drawing a foul on his baseline layup with 54 seconds left.
The Spartans held South Carolina scoreless on the ensuing Gamecock possession and hit three free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.
USC Upstate returns to action Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Charlotte, N.C., to take on Charlotte from Halton Arena.