Philip Whittington came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points and lift the USC Upstate men’s basketball team to a 91-59 victory over the Florida College Falcons Tuesday evening inside the G.B. Hodge Center.
With the win, Upstate improves its record to 8-7 on the season.
Whittington was one of four Spartans to finish the game scoring in double-figures along with Michael Buchanan (19), Malik Moore (16) and Mike Cunningham (10). Buchanan picked up his second straight double-double, and seventh of the season, after grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.
Zach Brock connected on six 3-pointers to score a team-high 18 points for Florida College. Anthony Allen also contributed 13 points and Dustin Dunham 10.
- The Falcons held an early 9-5 lead over Upstate less than four minutes into the game after Jordan Benjamin made back-to-back layups with his last coming with 16:37 remaining.
- The Spartans followed with six consecutive points capped off by Josh Cuthbertson’s 3-pointer to give them an 11-9 lead two minutes later. Benjamin tied the game at 11-11 the next possession with a layup.
- After Brock cut Upstate’s lead to 15-14 with 12:46 to go, the Spartans broke the game open courtesy of a 30-4 run covering a span of almost 10 minutes and led 45-18 with 2:14 left after a layup from Carson Smith. Upstate scored the first 12 points of the run.
- The Spartans took their largest lead of the first half at 49-21 with 43 seconds remaining on a pair of free-throws from Buchanan.
- Upstate led 49-25 at halftime.
- The Spartans were ahead by at least 20 points the entire second half with Florida College only able to get as close as 49-28 when Kent Hegarty knocked down a 3-pointer 10 seconds into the second half.
- Whittington scored 12 of his game-high 25 points in the second half on 6-of-7 shooting and gave Upstate a 26-point advantage twice over the course of four minutes with the last coming at the 10:06 mark as the Spartans led 70-44 at that point.
- Brock made five 3-pointers during the second half for the Falcons with his last cutting the Spartans lead to 80-57 with 4:23 to go.
- Upstate took its largest lead of the game with 39 seconds left when Moore nailed a 3-pointer and put the final score at 91-59.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Whittington turned in the best shooting performance of his career by going 12-of-14 from the field and added seven rebounds. His 12 made field goals are the most by a Spartan this season, surpassing the previous mark of 11 recorded by Buchanan at Charlotte on Nov. 22.
- Buchanan added a 7-of-13 shooting mark and had eight of his 13 rebounds on the offensive end of the court.
- Cunningham was one of three Upstate players to dish out five assists along with Cuthbertson and Jure Span, and also set a new career-high with five steals.
- Smith compiled new career-highs of four rebounds and four assists in the contest.
- For Florida College, Brock finished the game shooting 6-of-11 from 3-point range while Allen was 6-of-10 overall.
- Three different Falcons had three assists and Brock led the team with five rebounds.
- The Spartans forced a season-high 21 turnovers and turned them into 25 points highlighted by 18 in the first half.
- Upstate finished the game shooting 50.7 percent (37-of-73) as a team and held a 44-28 advantage in rebounds.
- The Spartans also led 48-14 in points in the paint, 25-14 in points off turnovers, 20-2 in second chance points, 12-4 in fast break points and 30-12 in points from the bench.
- Upstate is off until Friday, Dec. 30 when it hosts Allen at 2 p.m.