Spartans Rally to Top James Madison in CIT First Round

March 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

Ty Greene scored 26 points and USC Upstate rallied for a 73-72 victory over James Madison Tuesday in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament from the Hodge Center.

The win marked the 200th career victory for Eddie Payne as head coach at USC Upstate. His 460 career victories are the most by any active coach in  the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Greene hit six three-pointers to become just the eighth player in Atlantic Sun Conference history with 100 three-pointers in a single season. The Knoxville, Tenn., native leads the conference with 3.0 three-pointers per game.

Fred Miller added 18 points, five rebounds and five assists as USC Upstate finished with 18 assists. ShunQuez Stephens chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Josh Cuthbertson scored 10 points off the bench.

Jackson Hart hit five three-pointers and finished with 19 points to lead James Madison. Ron Curry added 14 points and Joey McLean had 12 for the Dukes.

McLean put James Madison ahead 52-44 with a three-pointer with just over 12 minutes remaining, but Upstate went on an 11-2 run over the next 2:46 to take a 55-54 lead on Cutherbertson’s second three-pointer of the game.

After the two teams traded baskets for the next two minutes, Curry capped an 11-3 run with a three-pointer from the wing to put James Madison ahead 72-64 with 3:08 remaining. It would be the last basket of the game for the Dukes, as an old fashioned three-point play by Miller ignited a 9-0 run over the final 2:59.

Greene followed with two free throws and a layup after a steal of Jackson to pull Upstate within one. Jacob Schulte completed the comeback when his layup at the 1:06 mark off a feed from Miller proved to be the game-winning basket.

Cuthbertson registered a steal on the ensuing Upstate possession, but a missed free throw by Miller on the front end of a one-and-one gave the Dukes possession with 34 seconds. Curry’s jumper fell short and Cuthbertson snagged the rebound and threw and outlet pass to a streaking Greene as time expired.

James Madison led for most of the first half and built a five-point lead with just under four minutes remaining on a layup from Paulius Satkus. But Upstate used a jumper from Marvin Smith and a three-pointer from Greene sandwiched in between a free throw by Winston Grays to cut the deficit to 34-33 at halftime.

USC Upstate’s second round opponent will be announced later in the week. Please continue to check www.UpstateSpartans.com and @UPSTMBB on Twitter for updates.