Boiling Springs, N.C. – Nevin Zink scored a career-high 18 points, and tied his career-best of nine rebounds, to lead the USC Upstate men's basketball team on Saturday evening as the Spartans fell 64-59 to the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs in conference play at Paul Porter Arena.
USC Upstate falls to 5-13 overall and 0-3 in the Big South while Gardner-Webb improves to 11-6 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- Zink led the Spartans offensively with a career-best 18 points and equaled his career-high of nine rebounds.
- Zink also set a career-high shooting 8-of-10 from the field.
- Pat Welch, making his first career start at USC Upstate, finished with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. He also dished out a career-high four assists.
- For the second straight game, Dalvin White made three 3-pointers and tied his career-high of nine points.
- David Efianayi led three Runnin' Bulldogs in double-figures scoring with 18 points while Nate Johnson and DJ Laster both had 12.
- Laster pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and Jaheam Cornwall added four assists.
- The Spartans concluded the game shooting 40.0 percent (20-of-50) from the field and made all eight of their free throw attempts.
- Both teams finished with 27 rebounds and five fast break points.
- USC Upstate held a 16-14 advantage in bench points.
- The game featured seven lead changes and three ties.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- The Spartans scored the game's first seven points and took a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest after two free throws from Jure Span.
- Two more free throws from Malik Moore kept USC Upstate ahead 9-2 at the 16:29 mark.
- Gardner-Webb answered with eight consecutive points and went ahead 10-9 with 14:48 remaining.
- Zink put the Spartans back in front 11-10 with two free throws just over a minute later.
- The Runnin' Bulldogs then went on a 10-0 run that covered 3:24 and led 20-11 with 10:21 to go.
- USC Upstate received two 3-pointers from Welch and Deion Holmes, as well as four points from Zink, to highlight a 10-0 run of its own as it took the lead back at 21-20 with 7:03 remaining.
- Gardner-Webb outscored the Spartans 14-5 over the final 6:32 and led 34-26 at halftime.
- The Runnin' Bulldogs led by as many as eight points during that stretch including a 3-pointer with one second remaining in the half to make the score 34-26.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- Gardner-Webb extended its lead to a game-high nine points to start the second half taking a 35-26 advantage 58 seconds into the period.
- The Spartans got as close as four points, 40-36, at the 14:59 mark on a 3-pointer by White.
- Trailing by seven, Zink connected on a jumper and Welch made a fast break 3-pointer and cut USC Upstate's deficit down to 43-41 with 11:44 left.
- A 3-pointer by White at the 9:02 mark put the Spartans in the lead at 46-44.
- The score would be tied twice after that with the last coming at 48-48 with 6:27 to go after a dunk by Zink.
- White kept USC Upstate within one point, 52-51, after his 3-pointer with 4:46 remaining.
- The Runnin' Bulldogs would then go on a 9-2 run over the next 2:46 and led 61-53.
- Welch knocked down a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to put the final score at 64-59.
- The Spartans remain on the road on Wednesday, January 16 to face High Point at 7 p.m.
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