FARMVILLE, Va. (USC Upstate SID) – In a conference where every game is a battle in the quest to sit atop the league standings, USC Upstate men’s basketball engaged in another battle Saturday night against league-leading Longwood before succumbing 72-65.
 
Fighting from behind for most of the evening, Upstate continued to battle throughout the second half, cutting into a 14-point deficit to remain within striking distance over the game’s final four minutes. Forced turnovers—the Spartans forced 20 on the night, converting them to 21 points—and free-throws kept Upstate in the game as the Spartans shot 84 percent (21-of-25) from the line.
 
Offensively, three Spartans contributed double-figures as senior forward Khydarius Smith led the way with a career-high 16 points, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and corralling a team-high six rebounds. Sophomore guard Jordan Gainey and senior guard Mysta Goodloe joined Smith with 10 or more points, adding 15 and 14 points, respectively.
 
Game Information
Score: Longwood 72; USC Upstate 65
Records: USC Upstate (8-9; 3-3 Big South); Longwood (13-6; 5-1 Big South)
Location: Willett Hall | Farmville, Va.
 
How It Happened
First Half

  • Winning the opening tip, Upstate wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard as Khydarius Smith laid one off the glass to start the game’s scoring. Heading into the first media timeout, he scored the first four Spartan points with the second bucket a dunk after driving the baseline.
  • With the game remaining within a possession at the under-12 media timeout, each of Upstate’s first eight points came from inside the paint. Nick Alves joined Smith in the scoring with a layup before Smith added a hook shot to his tally for six of the team’s first eight points.
  • Following a 7-2 Lancer scoring run that created the first multi-possession lead of the game, a Mysta Goodloe capped a 5-0 Spartan scoring run that forced Longwood into a timeout ahead of the under-eight stoppage. The three followed a second Alves layup with Goodloe totaling five points and Alves four to that point in the half.
  • Ahead of the under-four media, Goodloe and Smith combined to tie the game at 18 before Longwood took a lead into the timeout. The Lancers used a 7-0 scoring run to open up a lead in the final minutes of the half before the Spartans nailed four free throws over the final minute-and-a-half of the period to cut the deficit to four.

 
Second Half

  • Starting the second half much like he did the first, Smith notched the first basket of the second half as he nailed a hook shot. Longwood, however, answered the opening tally of the half with a 7-0 scoring run to open the lead before a Gainey dunk snapped the scoring stretch.
  • Growing its lead to the largest of the evening, Longwood fabricated another extended scoring run, posting a 6-0 run to grow the lead to 14 points and force an Upstate timeout. A jumper from the elbow by Floyd Rideau Jr. snapped the scoring run and set things up for the Spartans to chip away at the deficit.
  • With the two sides going back and forth in the middle portion of the second half, Upstate began to close the gap with roughly six minutes to play in the half. The Spartans tied its largest scoring run with a 6-0 run with Goodloe scoring four points and Smith adding two more on a dunk to tie his season-high scoring total.
  • As the lead hovered around five to 10 points for the final four minutes of the half, it was Longwood that outscored Upstate 19-18 over the game’s final four minutes to outlast the Spartans for the victory. Longwood did its part to hold off the comeback attempts, making 10 of 12 attempts from the line.

 
Notable

  • Behind a career-high-tying seven made field goals, Khydarius Smith notched his eighth double-figure scoring game of the season with a career and team-high 16 points. His eighth double-figure scoring game of the season gives him 18 for his career and marks his second game with 15 or more points in his career.
  • Scoring 11 of his 15 points in the second half Saturday evening, Jordan Gainey has scored in double-figures in the second half in three straight games. He leads the Spartans with six double-figure second-half scoring efforts this season.
  • With a first-half three, Mysta Goodloe extended Upstate’s streak of games with a made three-pointer to 857 games, a streak that dates back to the 1994-95 season. The streak includes each of the team’s 490 games at the NCAA Division I level (2007-pres.).

 
Up Next for the Spartans
After a one-game road detour, Upstate returns home next Wednesday to start a string of games versus regional rivals. The Spartans host Presbyterian on Jan. 18 with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. ET.