Spartanburg, S.C. – Anthony Wilson's jumper with less than two seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner as the USC Upstate men's basketball team fell in the final seconds to the Kennesaw State Owls, 81-80, on Saturday afternoon from Eddie and Ann Payne Arena in the G.B. Hodge Center.
USC Upstate falls to 6-18 on the season and 1-6 in ASUN play while Kennesaw State improves to 6-16 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- The Spartans finished the game shooting 28-of-60 (46.7 percent) from the field, 11-for-27 (40.7 percent) behind the 3-point line and 13-for-16 (81.3 percent) at the free throw line.
- For the fourth time in his career, Ramel Thompkins scored at least 20 points in a game as he led USC Upstate offensively with 21 on 6-of-14 shooting and 6-for-6 at the free throw line. He also added five rebounds and three assists.
- Deion Holmes registered 19 points, five rebounds and two assists on 8-of-16 shooting.
- Malik Moore contributed 16 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal and went 5-of-8 shooting and 5-of-6 at the free throw line.
- Avery Diggs led the Spartans defensively with six rebounds while Mike Cunningham dished out five assists.
- Wilson had a game-high 22 points for the Owls and grabbed six rebounds along with Kyle Clarke and Bryson Lockley.
- Nick Masterson had 16 points and six assists while Tyler Hooker scored 11.
- The Spartans led 20-15 in second chance points.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- USC Upstate opened the game on a 5-0 run and led 10-2 following a 3-pointer by Thompkins at the 17:23 mark.
- The Spartans led 13-7 at the under-16 media timeout.
- Kennesaw State pulled to within three, 13-10, following a 3-point play by James Scott.
- USC Upstate responded with a 9-2 run to lead 23-12 with 12:44 to play.
- After Holmes gave the Spartans a 29-17 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining, the Owls went on a 7-0 run to pull to within five, 29-24, following a pair of free throws by Wilson with 8:10 remaining.
- Kosta Jancovic's jumper with 3:00 to go trimmed USC Upstate's lead to 39-37.
- Thompkins answered with a pair of jumpers to push the Spartans advantage to 43-37.
- USC Upstate led 44-43 at halftime.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- After a Holmes layup gave the Spartans a 51-45 lead with 18:34 to go, Kennesaw State used a 7-2 run to make it a 53-52 game less than two minutes later.
- USC Upstate answered with a 12-0 run to take a 65-52 lead following an Isaiah Anderson layup with 13:31 remaining.
- The Owls crept back to a five-point deficit, 67-62, after Lockley's layup at the 9:55 mark.
- Jure Span pushed the Spartans advantage back to eight points, 70-62, following his 3-pointer with 9:41 remaining.
- Kennesaw State came back to tie the game at 72-72 with 5:43 left after Wilson connected on a jumper.
- The Owls took their first lead of the game at 74-72 with 4:41 to go on a Wilson tip-in basket.
- Anderson made the first of two free throws at the 2:32 mark. After he missed the second attempt, Thompkins got the offensive rebound and was fouled.
- Thompkins then made both of his free throws to give USC Upstate the lead back at 75-74.
- The lead changed hands four times over the final 2:14 as Kennesaw State led 79-78 with 42 seconds left.
- Moore was fouled with 16 seconds to go and put the Spartans back in front 80-79 with his two free throws.
- Wilson won the game for the Owls with two seconds remaining after making his jumper from just inside the free throw line.
- USC Upstate remains at home on Monday, January 29 when it hosts Lipscomb at 7 p.m.
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