TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Wrapping the final game of a three-game slate against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference by hitting the road for the second to last time in the team’s non-conference schedule, USC Upstate men’s basketball fell short of its second straight come-from-behind victory as it fell 80-63 Tuesday night at Florida State.
 
Seeing a similar halftime deficit as it did in its victory last Saturday versus South Carolina State, Upstate headed to the locker room within striking distance as the team’s defense frustrated Florida State in the first half, forcing nine turnovers. The nine forced miscues and nine offensive rebounds kept the Spartans within seven at the break, but the Seminoles came out strong in the second half, staying just ahead of Upstate as they pulled away for the victory.
 
Posting the team’s sixth 20-plus point scoring game, redshirt sophomore guard Floyd Rideau Jr. put forth a career effort in a return to his home state as he poured in a game-high 20 points. He finished the night 7-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc with both his field goal and three-point field goal totals marking career bests.
 
Game Information
Score: Florida State 80; USC Upstate 63
Records: USC Upstate (5-5); Florida State (3-9)
Location: Donald L. Tucker Center | Tallahassee, Fla.
 
How It Happened
First Half

  • After forcing a turnover on three straight Florida State possessions to open the game, the Spartans got the scoring started as Jordan Gainey hit a turnaround jumper at the free throw line. The Seminoles, however, scored the next seven points, carrying a lead into the first media stoppage.
  • Out of the first media, Floyd Rideau Jr. took over for the Spartans with the next eight Upstate points. He started with a jumper off the inbounds from the media to stop the Seminole run before knocking down a pair of three-pointers as Upstate began cutting into the lead.
  • Erasing the Florida State lead, Upstate outscored the Seminoles 7-1 out of the under-12 media timeout before FSU answered with five straight points. Tying the game ahead of the next media stoppage, the Spartans outscored the Seminoles 8-2 with Justin Bailey nailing a step-back three from the wing to tie the game at 25.
  • Closing out the half, the Seminoles’ defense stepped up, holding the Spartans to 1-of-9 shooting from the floor over the final four minutes of the half. Upstate did take the momentum into the locker room as Jordyn Surratt stuck the putback and made the subsequent free-throw attempt to end the half with a three-point play.

 
Second Half

  • Seeing Upstate take a swing at flipping the momentum heading into the half, Florida State took the momentum right back as it used its post play to score the first four points of the half. The Seminoles outscored the Spartans 9-2 out of the locker room to force an Upstate timeout.
  • Following a stretch that saw the Seminoles outscore the Spartans 12 to 2 coming out of the locker room, Upstate began chipping away at the Florida State lead. Nick Alves drove the lane for a backdoor layup before Ahmir Langlais scored the next five Spartan points to start a 7-3 Upstate scoring run into the under-12 media timeout.
  • Keeping the deficit manageable out of the under-12 media stoppage, the Spartans remained in lockstep with the Seminoles heading into the under-8 timeout. Sending the game to the stoppage, Floyd Rideau Jr. knocked down a three from the top of the key to tie his career-high with 16 points in the game to that point before hitting a floater out of the timeout to up his scoring total to 18.
  • Closing out the game, Florida State lengthened its lead by holding Upstate with just two field goal attempts over the final four minutes. The Seminoles outscored the Spartans 9-6 over the span with all six Spartan points coming from the free throw line.

 
Notable

  • Scoring a career-high 20 points to lead all scorers against Florida State, Floyd Rideau Jr. notched the sixth 20-plus point scoring game for a Spartan this season. He becomes the third Spartan to score 20 or more points in a game, joining Jordan Gainey (four times) and Mysta Goodloe in doing so.
  • Corralling 15 rebounds off the offensive glass, including nine in the first half, Upstate’s offensive rebound total versus the Seminoles marked a season-high in the category, beating out the 14 offensive rebounds the Spartans had against South Carolina State. Tuesday’s game also marks the third time this season the Spartans have won the battle on the offensive boards.
  • Coming in forcing just over 14 turnovers per game and ranking fourth in the Big South in the category, Upstate continued to play pesky defense Tuesday night, forcing 13 Seminole turnovers. Of the 13 forced turnovers, nine came in the first half with two coming on the first three possessions of the game with a third turnover coming via a shot clock violation that was not credited as a turnover, but rather a deadball rebound to the Spartans.
  • With his first made three of the first half, Rideau Jr. extended Upstate’s streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer to 630 games, dating back through the 2002-03 season. The streak also includes a made trey in each of the program’s 483 games at the Division I level (2007-pres.).

 
UP Next for the Spartans
Following Tuesday’s road contest, the Spartans head home for a week’s layoff before hitting the road one final time in non-conference play. Upstate closes its non-conference schedule next Tuesday at Kennesaw State with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. ET.