Charlotte, N.C. – The USC Upstate men’s basketball team came back from 11 points down in the second half to earn a 108-103 overtime victory against the Charlotte 49ers on Tuesday evening inside Halton Arena.
Upstate improves to 3-2 on the season while Charlotte falls to 3-1 overall.
The Spartans scored over 100 points in a road game for the first time since recording 100 at Johnson C. Smith on Jan. 2, 1998. Upstate had six players finish in double-figures led by a season-high 24 points from Michael Buchanan, who also collected his first double-double this year with a game-high 14 rebounds. Braxton Ogbueze had a game-high 28 points for the 49ers.
- Charlotte jumped out to an early nine-point advantage, 22-13, in the first half after a layup by Najee Garvin with 12:32 remaining. The 49ers would lead by as many as 15 points in the game coming at the 9:32 mark when another layup by Garvin made the score 33-18.
- The Spartans cut their deficit down to single-digits midway through the opening half and got as close as four, 39-35, with 3:18 left on a 3-pointer from Josh Cuthbertson. Charlotte responded to go back up 47-37 just over two minutes later.
- Ramel Thompkins connected on a jumper with eight seconds to go before intermission, putting the score at 47-41. Andrien White sent the 49ers into halftime leading 50-41 after his last-second 3-pointer.
- Upstate stayed within a nine-point margin during the first seven minutes of the second half, getting to within four twice with the last coming at the 17:04 mark on a layup by Deion Holmes to trim Charlotte’s lead to 54-50.
- The 49ers took their largest lead of the half, 67-54, with 12:23 to go on a Hudson Price 3-pointer, and led 80-69 as the clock hit 4:42 to go in regulation.
- The Spartans out-scored Charlotte 20-9 to close out the half and sent the game into overtime tied 89-89. The lead changed hands four times over the final 2:27 and saw the score tied twice. Thompkins gave Upstate its first lead of the game, 81-80, with 2:27 left on his layup.
- Malik Moore sent the contest into overtime following his 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining.
- The Spartans missed just one field-goal attempt in the overtime period, going 5-of-6 from the field, 1-for-1 from three and 8-of-8 at the charity stripe.
- The opening three minutes of overtime featured four ties before Cunningham scored four straight points to give Upstate a 102-98 lead with 28 seconds to go. Cunningham scored 10 of his 18 points in overtime including eight of the final 10.
- Two free-throws by Thompkins sealed the 108-103 win for the Spartans with three seconds to go.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Buchanan concluded the game shooting 11-of-14 from the field and was joined in double-digits by Thompkins (22), Cunningham (18), Holmes (12), Moore (12) and Philip Whittington (11). The 22 points scored by Thompkins are also a career-high for the junior.
- The double-double turned in by Buchanan was the 11th of his career.
- Cunningham and Thompkins combined to go a perfect 12-for-12 at the free-throw line as Upstate finished at 80.0% (16-for-20) for the game.
- Holmes set a new career-high with eight rebounds while Cunningham dished out a game-high five assists.
- Ogbueze was one of four 49ers to score 10 or more points along with White (19), Jon Davis (18) and JC Washington (12).
- The Spartans finished the game shooting a season-high 53.2% (41-of-77) from the field and out-rebounded Charlotte 47-35.
- Upstate also held a 46-36 advantage in points in the paint, 20-12 in second-chance points, 13-10 in fast-break points and 38-19 in points off the bench.
- The Spartans are off until Sunday, Nov. 27 when they travel to Charleston, S.C. for a 4 p.m. contest at College of Charleston.