Jacksonville, Fla. – Ty Greene scored a career-high 39 points and hit eight three-pointers and USC Upstate overcame an 11-point deficit en route to a 79-74 victory over North Florida Saturday from UNF Arena.
Greene gave Upstate its largest lead of the game with a three-pointer at the 4:48 mark of the second half to cap a 10-0 Spartan run. Beau Beech ended the run with a jumper on the ensuing possession, but Fred Miller countered on the next Upstate possession with a left-handed layup in traffic to push the lead back to nine.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Chris Davenport and Beech and a jumper from Dallas Moore cut the deficit to one point with just over a minute remaining. After Beech missed a jumper two possessions later, Upstate converted on a wild play that resulted on a breakaway layup by Jacob Schulte to put the Spartans out in front 77-74 with 15 seconds left.
The Upstate defense then forced North Florida into a turnover and Greene hit two free throws to seal the victory. Greene is the only player in Upstate Division I history with five straight games with at least 20 points.
Miller added 17 points and a career-high eight rebounds to help Upstate to its fourth straight win over North Florida.
Beech led North Florida with 23 points and Trent Mackey added 12 points off the bench. Moore finished with 10 points and six assists.
Greene converted a four-point play early in the first half to put the Spartans ahead 13-11 at the 14:26 mark, but North Florida used a 12-2 run over the next 4:32 to open up a 23-15 lead midway through the half.
North Florida pushed its lead up to nine points with just over five minutes remaining on a three-pointer from Demarcus Daniels and would go on to lead by as many as 11 points two times. Greene knocked down his third 3-pointer of the period just before halftime to pull Upstate within 46-38.
Upstate opened the second half on an 8-2 run to trim the lead to two points just over two minutes into play.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from three-point range and over 45 percent from the field in the first half.
Upstate returns to the court Tuesday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans host St. Andrews from the Hodge Center in the final non-conference game of the season.