Spartans, Skyhawks Tangle Saturday in CIT Second Round

March 20, 2015 at 12:53 pm

The USC Upstate men’s basketball team continues its quest for a CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship Saturday at 6 p.m. when the Spartans host UT Martin in the second round from the Hodge Center.

Upstate secured its berth in the second round with a thrilling 73-72 come-from-behind victory over James Madison Tuesday in the opening round. Ty Greene scored a game-high 26 points and hit six three-pointers to become just the ninth player in Atlantic Sun Conference history with 100 three-pointers in a single season.

Greene is also the first player in the A-Sun since 2009-10 to have seven consecutive games of at least 20 points. The Knoxville, Tenn., native ranks 10th in the NCAA with 20.4 points per game and has scored the fifth-most points (692) of any player in the NCAA this season.

Fred Miller added 18 points and ShunQuez Stephens chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds. Josh Cuthbertson scored 10 points and had five rebounds off the bench.

The victory was also Spartan head coach Eddie Payne’s 200th career win at USC Upstate. Payne has the most overall wins (460) of any current head coach in the A-Sun.

Saturday’s game with UT Martin will also be an opportunity for Upstate to secure its 25th victory of the season, which would be the most single-season wins since the 1990-91 team finished with a 26-3 overall record.

UT Martin (19-12) advanced into the second round following its 104-79 victory at Northwestern State Thursday night. The Skyhawks finished the regular season with an 18-11 overall record and finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference West Division, but earned the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament and fell to Morehead State in their opening game.

Senior guard and All-OVC second team member Deville Smith leads the Skyhawks with 14.0 points and 4.6 assists per game. Fellow All-OVC second team selection Marshun Newell ranks first on the team with 7.0 rebounds and is second with 13.4 points per game.

Follow Upstate men’s basketball all season long on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.