FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, [email protected]
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team returns home for the first time in 20 days Sunday afternoon, welcoming the College of Coastal Georgia to the Hodge Center for the final game of the calendar year.
The matchup between the Spartans and Mariners is the first meeting between the two programs. Both clubs are coming off road losses just before the Christmas break. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.
Fans can follow the contest through a live video broadcast on A-Sun.TV by clicking here and live in-game statistics by clicking here. ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM and 1400 AM will broadcast the game that can also be heard online by clicking here. Fans can follow on twitter @UPSTMBB and can join the conversation with the hashtag #UpstateHoops.
- After opening the season with nine of 11 games on the road, the Spartans return to the friendly confines of the Hodge Center for back-to-back contests. Upstate will be looking to extend its current 10-game home winning streak as Hampton will follow Coastal Georgia for two games in four days.
- Upstate's 10-game winning streak at home is currently tied for the 18th longest in the country, sitting tied with BYU and Iowa. Syracuse holds the mark at 30 consecutive home wins, followed by Kansas with 28.
- Since entering the Division I ranks in the fall of 2007, Upstate is 1-4 in the game following Christmas break, including a six-point loss at South Carolina last year. The Spartans' lone win came in 2008-09, knocking off North Florida 69-64 inside the Hodge Center.
- Coastal Georgia is an NAIA member and makes its home in the Southern State Athletic Conference. The Mariners have taken on five Division II schools, falling in all five contests by an average of 18.8 points.
- Upstate will serve as the lone Division I opponent for Coastal Georgia this season and will be the final stop in a four-game road swing for the Mariners.
- Coastal Georgia has a trio of players averaging double figures, led by 17.2 points per game by Reggie Burke. His 30 three-pointers this season will be the most by any player in Sunday's game.
- Ricardo Glenn recorded his fifth and sixth career double-double last week, scoring 15 points and adding 10 rebounds at Baylor, before a 13-point 10-rebound performance at Tennessee State. His 7.9 rebounds per game this season ranks second in the A-Sun behind Lipscomb's Stephen Hurt (8.4).
- Torrey Craig continues to pace the A-Sun in points per game at 18.6, scoring a league-high 205 points through 11 games. He has reached double figures in all 11 games this season, including a career-high 31 points against UTSA earlier this month.
- The Spartans lead the Atlantic Sun in offensive rebounds per game at 13.2, but rank ninth in defensive rebounds at 20.2. Upstate is one of three teams with a positive rebounding margin at +0.7, sitting just behind Lipscomb (+3.1) and FGCU (+0.9).
- Upstate dominated the boards at Tennessee State, outrebounding the Tigers 40-22. The Spartans tallied a season-high 18 offensive rebounds, equaling the total of defensive boards by the opposition, but for the second straight game, Upstate outrebounded its opponent and suffered a loss.
DAY-TO-DAY: Through the first eight games of the season Upstate played on all seven days of the week, posting a 3-5 record. The Spartans picked up wins on Monday, Thursday and Friday through the first eight games of the year. Upstate is currently 0-1 on Sunday and will look to improve that mark Sunday against Coastal Georgia.
AT HOME IN THE HODGE: The Spartans have seen plenty of recent success in the Hodge Center, winning 10 straight and 15 of their last 16 games for a .937 winning percentage. The last time Upstate dropped a game at home was Jan. 9 against Mercer. The nine-point loss to the Bears came over 350 days ago.
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."