The USC Upstate men’s basketball team returns to the Hodge Center Saturday afternoon as it hosts the Lipscomb Bisons on Homecoming with tipoff slated for 2 p.m.
Upstate enters this weekend’s contest with an 8-17 overall record and is 2-6 in the conference, while Lipscomb sits 7-18 on the season and 3-5 in league play.
The Spartans ended a two-game road trip Monday evening with a 75-62 loss at Kennesaw State. Michael Buchanan and Mike Cunningham both led Upstate offensively with 14 points, and were joined in double-figures by Philip Whittington with 12 and 10 by Jure Span. Whittington and Malik Moore grabbed six rebounds each, and Span dished out a team-high five assists.
Lipscomb is under the direction of third-year head coach Casey Alexander, who is 36-50 with the Bisons and 60-86 in five seasons of coaching. Lipscomb is led offensively this season by J.C. Hampton with 16.4 points per game and is one of three players averaging in double-figures. Josh Williams contributes 12.6 points per game and Nathan Moran 12.4, while Eli Pepper adds a team-leading 8.1 rebounds per contest.
The Spartans and Bisons are meeting for the 18th time in program history on Saturday with Upstate leading the all-time series 9-8, including a 6-2 mark in Spartanburg. The Spartans have won the last two meetings in the series. The teams are facing each other for the second time in a week as Upstate held off Lipscomb in overtime, 92-91, on Jan. 30.
In the first meeting this season, Cunningham scored a career-high 23 points and Whittington recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for the Spartans. Cunningham also set new career-highs with 11 made free throws and nine rebounds, while tying his career-high of six assists.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. The game is being streamed on ESPN3. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate men’s basketball Twitter page (@UPSTMBB).
The Spartans will host Florida Gulf Coast Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. as they continue their three-game home swing.
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