Spartanburg, S.C. – Mike Cunningham scored a season-high 23 points, and Malik Moore added his third career double-double, as the USC Upstate men's basketball team scored 47 points in the second half to defeat the North Greenville Crusaders 80-59 on Saturday afternoon at the G.B. Hodge Center.
Upstate improves to 5-11 on the season while North Greenville is 3-7 overall.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- Cunningham led the Spartans offensively with his season-high 23 points and tied his season-best shooting performance of 9-for-12 including a 5-for-7 mark behind the 3-point line.
- Moore added the third double-double of his career on 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds with 11 of those coming on the defensive side.
- Ramel Thompkins added 14 points and eight rebounds while setting a new career-high of five blocks. His five blocks are tied for second-most in Upstate's Division I era along with Michael Buchanan (2015 vs. Hampton) and Jodd Maxey (2013 vs. North Florida).
- Deion Holmes grabbed a season-high seven rebounds, falling one shy of tying his career-high of eight set last season at Charlotte.
- Roderick Howell and DJ Brooks scored a team-high 14 points for the Crusaders while Matt Moore contributed 13.
- Daniel Burchette led North Greenville defensively with 11 rebounds.
- The Spartans finished the game shooting 51.7 percent (31-for-60) from the field and made 11 3-pointers.
- Upstate limited the Crusaders to just 29.2 percent (19-of-65) shooting overall and 25.9 percent (7-for-27) from 3-point range.
- The Spartans held a 28-18 advantage in points in the paint, 22-7 in points off turnovers, 10-2 in fast break points and 13-3 in bench points.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- Upstate opened the game on a 7-1 run and went in front by six points just over two minutes into the contest on a jumper by Carson Smith.
- North Greenville answered with seven straight points and led 8-7 with 15:44 left in the half.
- The Crusaders would later go ahead 14-11 at the 13:34 mark on a 3-pointer by Brooks.
- After the Spartans came back to tie the score at 15-15 with 9:57 remaining, North Greenville took another three-point lead, 20-17, with 7:26 to go.
- Upstate then used an 11-2 run over nearly a three-minute stretch and led 28-22 with 4:13 left on a 3-pointer by Holmes.
- The Spartans led by as many as seven points twice over the final 2:51 with the last coming at 33-26 with 1:18 remaining.
- Neither team scored over the final 1:18 as Upstate led 33-26 at halftime.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- The Spartans jumped out to a 10-point lead, 40-30, to start the second half when Thompkins connected on a 3-pointer with 15:49 to go.
- The Crusaders cut Upstate's lead down to three points three times over a run of 3:39 and trailed 49-46 at the 10:10 mark on a pair of free throws by Burchette.
- The Spartans broke the game open over the next 3:05 by going on a 12-0 run and increased their lead out to 61-46 with 7:04 left on a dunk by Moore.
- Upstate led by at least 13 points for a stretch of 3:28 before a 3-pointer by Cunningham with 3:10 to go gave it a 74-53 advantage.
- Thompkins later put the Spartans in front by 22 points, 77-55, at the 2:11 mark following his 3-pointer.
- Upstate took its largest lead of the game at 80-57 with 19 seconds remaining on Moore's 3-pointer.
- A pair of free throws by North Greenville with one second left put the final score at 80-59.
- The Spartans close out non-conference play on Tuesday, Jan. 2 when they host UMKC at 7 p.m.
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