Career Nights by Holmes, Cunningham Propel USC Upstate over Jacksonville

Career Nights by Holmes, Cunningham Propel USC Upstate over Jacksonville

Box Score (.pdf)

Spartanburg, S.C. – Deion Holmes and Mike Cunningham both turned in career evenings on Thursday as the USC Upstate men's basketball team returned home for the first time in conference play and recorded a 91-85 victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins at the G.B. Hodge Center.

USC Upstate improves to 6-15 on the season and 1-3 in conference play while Jacksonville falls to 9-12 overall and 3-1 in the ASUN.


  • Holmes set new career-highs in the contest after leading the Spartans on both sides with 28 points and nine rebounds after shooting a career-best 11-of-19 from the floor.
  • Cunningham also achieved a career-mark by becoming the 22nd player in program history to score 1,000 career points. The redshirt-junior scored 26 points on a career-best 10-of-16 shooting and went 6-for-10 behind the 3-point line.
  • Malik Moore added 13 points to give the Spartans three players scoring in double-figures for the game.
  • Jure Span dished out a game-high eight assists while Ramel Thompkins contributed seven rebounds.
  • Jace Hogan led the Dolphins offensively with 19 points while Devin Harris and Jalyn Hinton both had 16.
  • USC Upstate finished the game shooting 36-of-64 (57.1 percent) from the field and 11-for-21 (52.4 percent) behind the 3-point line. The 57.1 percent shooting mark is a season-high for the Spartans and fourth time over 50.0 percent in a game this year.
  • USC Upstate outrebounded Jacksonville 32-29 and held a 10-6 advantage in fast break points.
  • The Spartans compiled 40 points in the paint.
  • The game featured 19 lead changes and 13 ties.


  • The Dolphins scored the first six points of the game and led by six twice over the opening four minutes. Jacksonville held an 8-2 lead at the 16:04 mark on a layup by Harris.
  • USC Upstate answered back with six consecutive points from Holmes, Span and Cunningham to tie the score at 8-8 with 12:57 left.
  • The Dolphins responded by scoring the next six points to go back in front 14-8 with 11:19 to go.
  • The Spartans then proceeded to go on a 7-0 run, taking up almost two minutes, to take their first lead of the game at 15-14 with 9:06 remaining after a 3-pointer by Pat Welch.
  • Neither team led by more than four points for the remainder of the half as the scored would be tied four times during that stretch.
  • Jacksonville went in front 19-15 with 7:44 left but USC Upstate used a layup from Moore and Span's jumper to go ahead 22-19 at the 6:33 mark.
  • The teams were tied three times over the next 1:16 with the last coming at 28-28 with 4:02 remaining on a jumper from Cunningham.
  • The Dolphins would take a three-point advantage twice over the final 2:42 of the half.
  • Thompkins knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half and tied the score at 34-34 heading into intermission.


  • The second half was highlighted by 11 total lead changes and eight ties.
  • The Spartans jumped out to an early three-point lead, 39-36, less than two minutes into the half on a jumper by Avery Diggs.
  • The following two minutes had the score changing hands five times and saw Jacksonville take a 47-46 lead with 15:36 left on a 3-pointer by Hogan.
  • USC Upstate answered less than a minute later with another 3-pointer by Welch to even the score at 49-49.
  • The Spartans went in front 58-54 at the 12:04 mark after picking up back-to-back baskets from Diggs and Moore.
  • Holmes later gave USC Upstate a five-point advantage, 63-58, with 10:15 to go when he connected on a 3-pointer.
  • The score was tied three more times over the following three minutes as Diggs' jumper with 7:31 left put the score at 70-70.
  • That sparked a 12-0 run for the Spartans and led to their largest lead of the game at 80-70 with 5:01 left on a 3-point play by Holmes.
  • USC Upstate led by 10 points three more times during the next four minutes capped at 88-78 with 1:47 remaining on a layup by Thompkins.
  • The Dolphins made a late charge with a pair of 3-pointers and cut the Spartans lead down to 88-85 with 51 seconds to go.
  • Cunningham sealed the win for USC Upstate the following possession with his 3-pointer and made the final score 91-85.


  • The Spartans remain at home on Saturday, January 20 when they host North Florida at 2 p.m.

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