Ty Greene scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the second half and USC Upstate defeated Georgia Tech 59-54 Saturday afternoon from McCamish Pavilion to running its winning streak to
Upstate has now won back-to-back games over the ACC after opening last season with a 64-63 victory at Virginia Tech for the program’s first-ever win against the conference.
Georgia Tech led most of the second half before Upstate took a 49-48 lead when ShunQuez Stephens made two free throws. The Spartans stretched their lead to 52-48 on a three-point play from Greene after he registered one of Upstate’s 10 steals. The Spartans entered play ranked seventh in the nation with 10.9 steals per game.
Josh Heath cut the Upstate deficit to two points with a floater in the late thereafter, but Michael Buchanan scored the next three points to push the Spartans’ lead to 55-50 with 46 seconds remaining.
Upstate hit all four of its free throws over the final 25 seconds to improve to 8-2 and post its best 10-game start since the 2005-06 team started 8-2 in Eddie Payne’s fourth year as head coach.
The Upstate defense, which leads the A-Sun and ranks 21st in the nation in fewest points allowed at 55.3 per game, held Georgia Tech to just 14.3 percent from three-point range on 3-for-21 shooting and moved to 43-10 all-time during the Division I era when holding an opponent to fewer than 60 points.
Stephens finished with a career-high 13 points to go along with six rebounds, and Josh Cuthbertson added 12 points and a career-best four three-pointers.
Chris Bolden led the Yellow Jackets with 10 points off the bench. Demarco Cox had eight points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Georgia Tech used a 14-0 run early in the first half to build an 18-11 lead before Fred Miller scored Upstate’s first field goal in over six minutes with a three-pointer at the 9:38 mark. That’s when Cuthbertson caught fire and hit four three-pointers over the next 4:58 to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to two points.
Georgia Tech held a 28-25 lead with two minutes remaining in the first half, but a free throw from Miller and a layup by Buchanan just before the horn pulled Upstate even at halftime.
Upstate returns to action Dec. 13 when the Spartans travel to College Park, Md., to take on Maryland at 11 a.m. from the XFINITY Center.