The USC Upstate men’s basketball team continues its three-game homestand Thursday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans welcome Florida Gulf Coast to the Hodge Center.
Upstate saw its five-game home winning streak come to an end Saturday in a heartbreaking 66-65 loss to Northern Kentucky. Despite the setback, Upstate has won 10 of its last 12 conference home games and is 9-2 overall inside the Hodge Center this season.
The Spartans are holding opponents to just 56.0 points per game and winning by an average of 21.7 points in 11 home games this season. Additionally, Upstate averages 40.2 rebounds per game and forces 16.7 turnovers per game at home.
Senior guard Ty Greene scored 22 points Saturday against the Norse and enters play atop the conference rankings with 17.4 points per game. Greene has scored over 20 points in three of his last five games. The Knoxville, Tenn., native is also first in the league and seventh in the NCAA with 2.7 steals per game.
Fred Miller adds 12.9 points per game and ranks ninth in the A-Sun. Miller is also second in the league in steals (2.1 spg) and fourth in assists (3.8 apg). Junior forward ShunQuez Stephens led Upstate in rebounding for the fifth straight time on Saturday and is now second in the conference with 5.9 rebounds per game.
Florida Gulf Coast improved to 12-7 overall and 2-1 inside the league with a 79-50 home win over Jacksonville Saturday night. The Eagles, however, have lost five straight on the road and have not won away from Alico Arena since Dec. 7 at UMass.
Senior guard Bernard Thompson leads Florida Gulf Coast and ranks fifth in the A-Sun with 14.5 points per game. Thompson is also second in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.450) and third in steals (1.8 spg).
Fellow guard Brett Comer is second on the team with 11.9 points per game and distributes a conference-best 6.8 assists per game.
USC Upstate and Florida Gulf Coast will be meeting on the hardwood for the 14th time when the two schools tipoff Thursday. Florida Gulf Coast is 9-4 against Upstate in the all-time series that dates back to the 2009-10 season. The Eagles have also won the last four meetings and two straight inside the Hodge Center. Despite the recent success by Florida Gulf Coast, three of the last four games between the two have been decided by four points or less.