Highland Heights, KY -
Highland Heights, Ky. (USC Upstate)– Torrey Craig scored 16 points and had five rebounds to lead USC Upstate to its first Atlantic Sun road win of the season with 76-59 victory over Northern Kentucky Saturday evening from The Bank of Kentucky Center.
Jodd Maxey fell just shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Mario Blessing added 11 points off the bench. Fred Miller registered 10 points and five assists.
Jordan Jackson led Northern Kentucky with 18 points and three assists. Jack Flournoy hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.
USC Upstate opened the first half on fire and used back-to-back three-pointers from Craig to build a 10-5 lead just under four minutes into the game. Upstate held the lead for the next seven minutes before Northern Kentucky took a 20-19 lead on a three-pointer from Flournoy.
Upstate responded by going on a 16-0 run to open up a 35-20 lead with just under three minutes remaining. A layup from Josh Cuthbertson minutes later gave Upstate its largest lead of the half at 39-22, but Northern Kentucky scored the final five points of the period and trimmed the lead to 39-27 at halftime.
The Spartans finished the first half shooting 51.7 percent from the field (15-for-29) and 41.7 percent from three-point range (5-for-12).
Northern Kentucky scored the first six points of the second half to cut the Upstate lead to 39-33, but back-to-back three-pointers from Cuthbertson and Blessing pushed the lead back to 12. The Norse would climb within eight points with just over five minutes remaining on an old fashioned three-point play from Jackson. Upstate, however, outscored Northern Kentucky 9-2 over the next 2:43 to take a 68-53 lead.
A jumper from Michael Buchanan in the final seconds capped the scoring for Upstate and made the Spartans winners in five of their last six games.
USC Upstate closes its three-game road trip Monday night at 7 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Johnson City, Tenn., to take on ETSU from the ETSU Athletic Center.
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