SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In front of an electric, sold-out crowd at the G.B. Hodge Center, USC Upstate men’s basketball opened its season at home for the first time in two seasons as five Spartans scored in double-figures with 12 seeing game action in a 90-42 victory over Brevard Monday night.
 
Leading a balanced offense that saw 11 Spartans in the scoring column, a trio of Spartans posted a team-best 12 points with freshman guard Justin Bailey, junior forward Seny N’Diaye, and redshirt sophomore guard Floyd Rideau Jr. comprising the trio. For Bailey and N’Diaye, Monday’s game marked their USC Upstate debuts with both posting career-high scoring totals. Rounding out the quintet of double-figures scorers were sophomore guard Jordan Gainey and senior forward Khydarius Smith who chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
 
Putting an emphasis on the team’s defense against Brevard, head coach Dave Dickerson‘s squad did something it hadn’t done since last December as it permitted Brevard to shoot 28.8 percent (15-of-52) from the field while holding the Tornados to 42 points Monday. The Spartans’ season opener marked the lowest opponent field goal percentage and scoring output since allowing 38 points against Converse while holding the Valkyrie to a 27.1 percent (13-of-48) clip from the floor.
 
Game Information
Score: USC Upstate 90; Brevard 42
Records: USC Upstate (1-0); Brevard (0-1)
Location: G.B. Hodge Center | Spartanburg, S.C.
 
How It Happened
First Half

  • After winning the opening tip, Upstate wasted little time as the team’s Preseason First Team All-Big South selection and last season’s leading three-point shooter Jordan Gainey knocked down an in-rhythm corner three off a feed from Khydarius Smith.
  • Following Gainey’s opening three, the two teams traded baskets over the next few minutes before Upstate began building a lead heading into the under-16 media timeout with the most emphatic of the baskets ahead of the media stoppage coming as Floyd Riedeau Jr. pick-pocketed Brevard’s Quincy Carter to race out for a fastbreak dunk.
  • Another Rideau Jr. slam just ahead of the under-12 media timeout kickstarted an 11-0 scoring run that saw Upstate grow its lead to 17 coming out of the half’s under-eight media timeout. In the run, Rideau Jr. and Ahmir Langlais led the Spartans with four points apiece.
  • Closing the half, the Spartans embarked on another double-digit scoring run with a game-best 13-0 stretch into the halftime locker room. Punctuating the run, Justin Bailey scored his first career points with a pull-up jumper to beat the halftime buzzer.

 
Second Half

  • Coming out of the locker room, both teams traded baskets to open the second heading into the half’s under-16 media timeout. Spanning the media timeout, Upstate used a 7-0 scoring spurt to push its lead to 30-plus points, a figure the lead would not fall below for the remainder of the game.
  • Ahead of and out of the under-12 media stoppage in the half, the Spartans used a pair of 6-0 scoring runs, outscoring Brevard 12-3 spanning the media timeout to grow the team’s lead to 40 for the first time. In the stretch, it was Upstate’s bigs who took advantage of their size, scoring seven of the 12 points led by five points from Seny N’Diaye.
  • After seeing the lead grow to 40 points, Brevard began going shot-for-shot with the Spartans keeping the Tornados deficit hovering around the 40-point range heading into the under-four media timeout. Upstate, however, began growing the lead towards 50 points with a short scoring run heading into the media with N’Diaye throwing down a slam heading into the under-four stoppage.
  • On a run started by a driving layup from Thomas Sheida, Upstate’s freshmen Bailey and Jordyn Surratt closed the game with a layup apiece as the Spartans’ closed the game on a 6-0 scoring run to see the lead swell to 48 points at the final buzzer.

 
Notable

  • Opening the season at home for the first time since the 2020-21 season, Upstate claimed its largest margin of victory (+48) since posting a 53-point victory over St. Andrews in the team’s 2021-22 home opener. Monday’s victory improved head coach Dave Dickerson to 4-0 in home openers in his fifth year at the helm of the USC Upstate program.
  • With 12 Spartans hitting the floor Monday night, five made their USC Upstate debuts as freshmen Justin Bailey and Jordyn Surratt and transfers Trae Broadnax (Navy), Ché Evans Jr. (San Diego State), and Seny N’Diaye (West Virginia) all debuting. For each of the transfers making their Spartan debuts, each posted career-high scoring totals in their first games in an Upstate uniform.
  • Joining in on the career highs in the season-opener, redshirt juniors Thomas Sheida and Ahmir Langlais each posted career-highs Monday. For Sheida, he posted a career-high seven points and three assists while Langlais pulled in a career-best eight rebounds.

 
UP Next for the Spartans
After opening the season at home for the first time since 2020-21, the Spartans hit the road for the first time Friday as they travel to Durham, N.C. to matchup against Duke inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Friday’s meeting marks the first time in the Spartans’ Division I era.