SPARTANBURG, S.C. (USC Upstate SID) – The USC Upstate men’s basketball team ended a four game losing streak on Saturday evening as they blasted past UNC Asheville 80-63 in front of a raucous crowd of 579 fans at the Eddie and Ann Payne Arena located inside the G.B. Hodge Center.
UNC Asheville (9-10, 3-5 BSC) scored the first points of the game despite USC Upstate (8-13, 3-5 BSC) winning the opening tip. The Spartans responded by going on a 10-4 run to take the early lead into the first media timeout of the game. The USC Upstate defense clamped down and held UNC Asheville without a point for two and a half minutes of playing time.
Fast forward a few minutes into the half and Dalvin White made a jump shot in the paint to give the Spartans a 26-15 advantage with 5:14 to play in the half. Then UNC Asheville went on an 8-0 run to close within a trio of points of the Spartans. USC Upstate ended the half on an 8-0 run and went into the halftime break up 34-23.
Everette Hammond led all scorers at the break with 11-points. Tajion Jones and DeVon Baker each had 6-points in the opening half for UNC Asheville.
Throughout the opening moments of the second half the two teams matched each other shot-for-shot to keep the pressure on the opposition. The score remained tight and at the 11:37 mark of the half UNC Asheville’s coach Mike Morrell received a technical foul. The Spartans took advantage and went up 52-42.
The Bulldogs kept hanging around and eventually
pulled within a single point at 58-57 with 6:07 to play in the half.
Moments later Bryson Mozone knocked down a pair of three-pointers to put
USC Upstate up 68-60. The Spartans never looked
back as they closed out the game on an 18-3 run.
Upstate – This is just the second time this season the Spartans have produced 20-assists in a game. Hammond finished with a game high 23-points, 7-rebounds and 5-assists. Tommy Bruner contributed 17-points and Bryson Mozone added 10-points in the second half to put the game out of reach.
UNC Asheville – LJ Thrope led the Bulldogs with 17-points, Baker contributed 13-points and Lavar Batts ended the game with 12-points.
UP next for the Spartans
USC Upstate will hit the road this coming Thursday night as they travel down to Clinton to play Presbyterian College. The game will be televised on ESPNU and tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.