Kennesaw, Ga. – Mike Cunningham scored a team-high 18 points to lead the USC Upstate men's basketball team on Saturday afternoon but the Spartans dropped a 93-69 decision to the Kennesaw State Owls in conference play at the KSU Convocation Center.
The Spartans fall to 6-20 on the season and 1-8 in conference play while the Owls improve to 7-17 overall and 3-6 in the league.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- Cunningham finished the game shooting 6-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, and set a new career-high after dishing out eight assists.
- USC Upstate had three players, along with Cunningham, score in double-figures as Ramel Thompkins added 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and Deion Holmes 12.
- Thompkins also connected on four 3-pointers and concluded the game 4-of-7 behind the 3-point line.
- Avery Diggs led the Spartans defensively with a career-best nine rebounds.
- Pat Welch came off the bench and scored a career-high nine points on a 3-of-5 shooting behind the 3-point line.
- James Scott led all players with a game-high 30 points for Kennesaw State.
- Nick Masterson added 17 points and nine rebounds.
- USC Upstate finished the game shooting 39.4 percent (26-of-66) from the field and 42.3 percent (11-of-26) behind the 3-point line.
- The Spartans held a 21-15 advantage in second chance points over the Owls.
- The contest featured 15 lead changes and six ties.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- USC Upstate scored the game's first three points and led 5-2 less than two minutes in on a layup by Holmes.
- Kennesaw State followed with an 8-2 run and led 10-7 with 15:36 left.
- The Owls led by as many as eight points twice in the first half with the last coming at 20-12 with 11:23 to go.
- Welch and Thompkins answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Spartans deficit down to 22-21 at the 9:36 mark.
- Another 3-pointer by Welch gave USC Upstate a 24-22 lead with 9:02 remaining.
- The final 8:41 of the opening half featured four ties.
- Welch's third 3-pointer put the Spartans back in front 30-28 with 5:12 left.
- After Kennesaw State took a two-point lead, Cunningham recorded five straight points as USC Upstate went ahead 35-32 with 1:12 to go.
- The Owls followed with four straight points to lead 36-35 with 28 seconds to go.
- Holmes sent the Spartans into halftime leading 37-36 after connecting on a layup with two seconds left.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- Neither team led by more than one point during the first 3:14 of the second half.
- Cunningham put USC Upstate in front 40-38 with 18:56 to go with his 3-pointer.
- The Spartans led by one point twice with Cunningham putting them ahead 44-43 at the 17:13 mark.
- Kennesaw State broke the game open courtesy of a 22-4 run and led 65-48 with 9:46 left.
- The Owls led by double-figures for the rest of the game.
- USC Upstate got as close as 12 points, 65-53, after posting a 5-0 run capped by a 3-point play from Diggs with 8:39 left.
- Kennesaw State took its largest lead of the game at 27 points twice over the final 2:24.
- The Owls held a 91-64 advantage with 1:35 remaining after a pair of free throws.
- The Spartans scored five of the game's final seven points.
- Diggs' layup with 14 seconds left put the final score at 93-69.
- USC Upstate returns home on Thursday evening to host Stetson at 7 p.m.
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