Spartanburg, S.C. – Josh Cuthbertson scored a game-high 20 points but the USC Upstate men's basketball team dropped a 79-57 decision to the Furman Paladins on Thursday evening in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament inside the G.B. Hodge Center.
Upstate finishes the season with a 17-16 overall record while Furman improves to 22-11 on the year.
Cuthbertson led the Spartans in scoring while Philip Whittington contributed seven points and nine rebounds. Malik Moore also had eight points.
John Davis was one of four Paladins to finish in double-figures with a team-high 16 points. Devin Sibley, Kris Acox and Geoff Beans all had 13 points, and Acox collected a double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Furman opened the game on a 10-2 run and held a 14-4 advantage less than six minutes in when Beans put the Paladins ahead by 10 at the 13:45 mark with his layup.
- Upstate used an 8-2 run over the next 3:32 to cut its deficit to 16-12 with 10:12 remaining on a layup by Cuthbertson.
- The Spartans stayed within single-digits until Beans put Furman back in front 28-18 with a 3-pointer.
- Upstate got as close as four points to finish the first half when a pair of free throws by Moore with 2:08 remaining put the score at 31-27.
- The Paladins scored six of the final nine points in the half and led 37-30 at halftime after a free throw from Acox with 42 seconds left.
- Furman opened the second half on a 14-5 run covering the first 6:11 and went ahead 51-35 with 13:49 left following a 3-pointer by Daniel Fowler.
- The Spartans would only get as close as 12 points the rest of the way when Deion Holmes sank a 3-pointer at the 10:08 mark to trim the Paladins lead to 56-44.
- After Holmes made it a 62-48 contest two minutes later, Furman answered with back-to-back baskets by Sibley and Acox to increase its lead to 66-48 with 7:32 remaining.
- Whittington and Cuthbertson kept Upstate within 17 points on consecutive possessions but Beans connected on a 3-pointer to give the Paladins a 73-51 advantage with 3:52 to go.
- Furman took its largest lead of the game at 77-53 with 1:44 left after two free throws from Jalen Williams.
- Moore scored the final basket for the Spartans with 50 seconds remaining to make the score 77-57.
- Cuthbertson finished the game shooting 8-of-15 from the field and fell two points shy of tying his career-high of 22 points set twice this season against Presbyterian College and Florida Gulf Coast.
- Cuthbertson concluded the season scoring at least 20 points in two of his final four games.
- Mike Cunningham contributed three assists and three steals, while Moore added two blocks and two steals.
- Davis and Acox were both 6-of-9 shooting from the field, and Davis was 4-of-6 from 3-point range to go with eight assists to lead all players.
- Upstate finished the game shooting 22-of-59 (37.3 percent) overall and went 9-for-11 (81.8 percent) at the free throw line.
- The Spartans held a 20-9 advantage in points off turnovers and also led 10-7 in fast break points.