Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate men’s basketball team plays its first game of the new year Saturday at 4 p.m. when the Spartans welcome Hampton to the Hodge Center in the final home game before conference play.
Upstate closed 2014 strong by turning in a 101-55 victory Tuesday over Montreat to secure its 10th win of the season, marking the first time in school history a Spartan team has collected 10 wins before January. The victory also helped Upstate improve to 20-3 at home against non-conference competition since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Ty Greene scored 18 points and moved into 10th place overall at Upstate with 1,389 career points. He also registered five steals and enters the weekend 10th in the NCAA with 2.8 steals per game. Greene is averaging 4.7 steals per game over his last three games, which includes a career-high six Dec. 17 at Memphis.
Josh Cuthbertson added a career-high 14 points with seven rebounds and a career-best seven assists. Ramel Thompkins, Jacob Schulte and Tristan Thomas had 12 points apiece and Michael Buchanan finished with 10 as the Spartans reached the century mark for the third time this season. It’s the first time since the 1993-94 season that Upstate has featured three games in the same season with at least 100 points.
Hampton saw its two-game winning streak come to an end Monday following a 83-51 setback at Northern Illinois to drop the Pirates to 1-6 on the road this season. Hampton’s only road win came Dec. 2 when the Pirates posted a 62-54 victory at Tennessee State.
Junior guard Dwight Meikle leads Hampton with 12.6 points per game and scored a team-high 18 against Northern Illinois. Tennessee transfer Quinton Chievous is tops on the team with 7.6 rebounds per game and ranks second with 11.7 points per game.
USC Upstate and Hampton will be meeting on the hardwood for the third time when the two schools tipoff inside the Hodge Center. Upstate is 2-0 all-time against the Pirates after claiming a 68-49 victory Jan. 2, 2013, behind a game-high 17 points from Greene. Upstate also won the first meeting, 68-54, on March 12, 1982.