The USC Upstate men’s basketball team remains on the road Friday evening as it travels to Greenville, N.C. for a 7 p.m. contest with the East Carolina Pirates inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Upstate (1-8) is back in action for the second time in three days after dropping a 76-56 decision to Clemson Wednesday evening in Greenville. Josh Cuthbertson turned in a team-high 11 points for the Spartans and Michael Buchanan contributed 10 off the bench. Malik Moore added a career-high 10 points and Marvin Smith grabbed a team-best six rebounds against the Tigers.
The Pirates enter the contest with a 4-3 overall record after recording victories this season over Grambling State, Charlotte, Stetson and Florida Atlantic. East Carolina is led by sixth-year head coach Jeff Lebo, who is 91-83 at ECU and 302-239 in 18 seasons as a head coach. Caleb White and B.J. Tyson are both averaging in double-figures this season as White leads the team with 12.3 points per game while Tyson adds 11.4 points. Kentrell Barkley is averaging a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game.
East Carolina leads the all-time series over the Spartans 2-0 with both meetings taking place in Greenville. The teams are meeting for the first time since Nov. 21, 2010 when the Pirates won 75-67. In the first all-time meeting of the series, East Carolina won 64-52 on Dec. 15, 2001.
Upstate head coach Eddie Payne served two coaching stints with the Pirates including one as their head coach from 1991-95. During his four seasons as the head coach, Payne led East Carolina to a 56-58 record and one appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach from 1979-81 under head coach Dave Odom.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats and audio streaming. The game is being televised on ESPN3. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate men’s basketball Twitter page (@UPSTMBB).
The Spartans are off until Friday, Dec. 11 when they host North Greenville at 7 p.m.