SPARTANBURG, S.C. (USC Upstate SID) – At home for the first time in the calendar year, USC Upstate men’s basketball improved its best start at the G.B. Hodge Center—moving to 6-0 at home this season—with a 76-57 win over High Point Saturday afternoon, securing consecutive wins over the Panthers for the first time in series history.
Leading to the team’s 19-point victory, Upstate forced 21 Panther turnovers—the second most forced turnovers by the Spartans this season—with 13 generated by steals, also the second-highest single-game total for the team this season. The Spartans also collected six blocks, another total that ranks as the second most for the program in 2022-23 as Upstate held High Point to 38.5 percent shooting and 26.1 percent from three.
Coming off the bench, sophomore guard Jordan Gainey totaled a game-best 18 points, finishing the game going 5-of-5 from the floor to tally 11 second-half points. In double-figures for the fourth time in as many Big South games, freshman guard Justin Bailey and redshirt sophomore guard Trae Broadnax dropped 12 points apiece.
Score: USC Upstate 76; High Point 57
Records: USC Upstate (8-7; 3-1 Big South); High Point (8-8; 0-4 Big South)
Location: G.B. Hodge Center | Spartanburg, S.C.
How It Happened
- After both teams went empty on their first possessions of the afternoon, Upstate settled in offensively as Justin Bailey hit a three to open the scoring on the team’s second possession. The Spartans fed off Bailey’s three and crafted an 11-4 scoring run into the game’s first media stoppage.
- High Point kept within striking distance as it cut the lead to four and three points as the game moved towards the under-12 media timeout. The Spartans, however, answered both instances, building the lead back with consecutive made field goals.
- Building the lead to nine for the first time in the half, Upstate answered High Point’s effort to cut the lead to three with a quick 6-0 run that spanned the under-12 media, including a layup from Nick Alves and a three from Jordan Gainey out of the media stoppage.
- Closing out the half, Upstate kept building its lead by outscoring High Point over the half’s final eight minutes, using a pair of short scoring runs. The Spartans pushed the lead to its largest of the half—12 points—with its second short scoring run, punctuated by an emphatic dunk from Khydarius Smith.
- Coming out of the locker room, both teams traded baskets over the first three-and-a-half minutes of the half. Ending the back-and-forth second half to that point, the Spartans fashioned their longest scoring run of the game, scoring eight unanswered points, thanks in large part to threes from Mysta Goodloe and Trae Broadnax.
- Reducing a lead that grew to as many as 18 points, the Panthers outscored Upstate 9-4 over the next four minutes of the half, bookending the stretch with a pair of threes. During the stretch, Gainey hit both of the Spartans’ buckets, doing so with jumpers in the lane.
- Following High Point’s scoring stretch, Upstate tied its longest scoring run of the game with a second 8-0 stretch. The scoring run that began with a three from Gainey and ended with a three from Floyd Rideau Jr. pushed the Spartan lead to its largest of the game at 21 points.
- After growing the lead to as many as 21 points with 8:17 to play, Upstate’s lead never fell lower than 17 points to close out the game. The Spartans pushed the lead back to 20 or more points on four occasions to close the game with the last coming with 2:11 to play on an alley-oop from Goodloe to Jordyn Surratt.
- With Upstate’s victory over High Point, the Spartans secured their best home start in the Division I era (2007-pres.), improving to 6-0 at the G.B. Hodge Center in 2022-23. The Spartans’ 6-0 start breaks a tie with a 5-0 home start during the 2011-12 season.
- Upstate’s 19-point margin of victory Saturday marked the program’s second-largest Big South win under head coach Dave Dickerson (2018-pres.). The lone margin of victory greater came during a 20-point conference win versus North Carolina A&T on Jan. 29, 2022.
- Scoring in double-figures with 12 points apiece, Justin Bailey and Trae Broadnax have now scored in double-figures in each of the Spartans’ Big South games this season. Bailey continues his streak of double-figure scoring games to begin conference play in his career, one of three Spartans under Dickerson to score 10 or more points to open Big South play.
- With Bailey’s three to open the game’s scoring, Upstate improved its streak of games with a made three-pointer to at least 635 games, dating back through the 2002-03 season. The streak includes each of the program’s 488 games at the NCAA Division I level.
Up Next for the Spartans
Following Saturday’s home game versus High Point, Upstate remains at the G.B. Hodge Center for the back half of a two-game homestand. The Spartans host Campbell Wednesday with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. ET.