SPARTANBURG, S.C. (USC Upstate) – Back at home following a week layoff due to exam week, USC Upstate men’s basketball found itself in unfamiliar territory as it found itself headed to overtime for the first time this season as a second-half comeback helped the Spartans remain undefeated at the G.B. Hodge Center in 2022-23 with an 89-84 victory over South Carolina State Saturday afternoon.
 
For the second time in as many home games, sophomore guard Jordan Gainey—the reigning Big South Player of the Week—posted a career-high scoring total as he finished with 28 points, tying career-highs with nine made field goals and five steals. Spurring the Upstate comeback, he dropped 22 of his 28 points during the second half and overtime, including equaling the Bulldogs in overtime with 13 points.
 
Scoring 13 of his 20 points in the second half, senior guard Mysta Goodloe joined Gainey with a career-best scoring night, doing so in his season debut. In the second half and overtime, Goodloe was a steadying force at the free throw line, knocking down all 10 of his attempts following halftime, finishing with 11 makes from the charity stripe—the most free throw makes by a Spartan this season.
 
Game Information
Score: USC Upstate 89; South Carolina State 84
Records: USC Upstate (5-4); South Carolina State (1-10)
Location: G.B. Hodge Center | Spartanburg, S.C.
 
How It Happened
First Half

  • Despite seeing South Carolina State open the game with buckets on its first two possessions and building a five-point advantage in the early going, Upstate didn’t let these facts deter the team’s effort throughout the game. Using the team’s longest scoring run of the game—8-0—the Spartans quickly erased the Bulldogs’ advantage and took their first lead of the game.
  • With both teams trading baskets over the next four minutes, it was next South Carolina State’s turn to put together its longest scoring run of the game. Behind a 9-0 scoring run, the Bulldogs took the lead for the final time in the first half.
  • Building their largest lead of the first half, the Bulldogs turned their 9-0 run into a 13-2 scoring stretch that saw the lead grow to eight. For the Spartans’ the lone basket in the stretch came via a layup from Khydarius Smith.
  • Cutting into the lead and pulling the deficit to two points, Upstate followed up South Carolina State’s extended scoring stretch with a 6-0 run kickstarted by four points from Mysta Goodloe and an alley-oop from Justin Bailey to Smith. Closing out the half, the Bulldogs outpaced the Spartans 14-10, carrying a six-point lead into the locker room.

 
Second Half

  • Seeing South Carolina State open the half with a pair of free throws, Jordan Gainey looked to swing momentum in the favor of the Spartans as he scored five of the team’s next six points behind a tomahawk dunk and a wing three.
  • Staying just ahead of the Spartans to keep the lead hovering around the four-to-seven-point range, the Bulldogs used three treys and four free throws to stay ahead of the Spartans. Upstate responded with its longest run of the half as Ahmir Langlais scored five straight points to cut the lead to three.
  • Much like the first half, the Bulldogs answered the Spartans’ longest scoring run of the half with their longest of the half, using a 6-0 run to grow the lead to nine points—the largest of the second half. Beginning to turn the tide, Upstate outscored South Carolina State 9-2 over the next five minutes to pull within two and set up the team’s comeback.
  • Tying the game with 2:47 to play in the half behind a pair of Goodloe free throws, Upstate halted a 28-plus minute stretch of game time that saw South Carolina State with the lead. Going toe-to-toe with one another, both sides answered one another as 40 minutes of action wasn’t enough to decide the game.

 
Overtime

  • While the Bulldogs scored first in the extra period, things quickly turned in the Spartans’ favor as Gainey took over. He scored the first eight Upstate points in overtime and 11 of the first 12 as he made three three-pointers in the period.
  • Cementing the win, Upstate maintained a lead of greater than four points as Gainey, Goodloe, and Trae Broadnax finished the game by going 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

 
Notable

  • Scoring a career-high 28 points, including 22 points following halftime, Jordan Gainey notched his third straight 20-plus point scoring effort. He becomes the first Spartan since Tommy Bruner in 2019-20 to score 20 or more points in three straight games.
  • Making his season debut, Mysta Goodloe added a career-best 20 points to join Gainey as a 20-point scorer against South Carolina State. Saturday’s game is the first to feature two 20-plus point scorers since Jan. 26, 2022, versus Winthrop.
  • Scoring 11 of his 20 points from the free throw line, Goodloe is the first Spartan to make double-digit free throws in a game this season. He is the first Spartan to do so in a game since Bryson Mozone made 13 free throws against South Alabama on March 21, 2022.