The USC Upstate men’s basketball team plays its final regular season game on Thursday evening when it travels to Newark, N.J. to face the NJIT Highlanders at 7 p.m. inside Fleisher Athletic Center.
Upstate closed out its regular season home schedule last Saturday by rallying to force overtime against Florida Gulf Coast, but fell to the Eagles 97-89. Michael Buchanan and Josh Cuthbertson, playing their final regular season home game, each scored over 20 points to lead the Spartans offensively. Buchanan compiled his 21st career double-double on a season-high 29 points to go with 13 rebounds, and Cuthbertson tied his career-high with 22 points. Philip Whittington came off the bench and fell just shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Mike Cunningham contributed 11 points.
Cuthbertson also set a new career-high with nine made field goals in the contest while Buchanan concluded the game shooting 13-of-18 from the field. The Spartans finished the game shooting 46.8 percent (36-of-77) and held a 44-43 advantage in rebounds. Upstate also led 48-40 in points in the paint, 16-10 in second chance points and 21-19 in bench points.
NJIT is under the direction of first-year head coach Brian Kennedy. The Highlanders have two players averaging in double-figures this season in Damon Lynn (20.6) and Tim Coleman (12.7), while Abdul Lewis leads the team in rebounding with 8.3 per game.
The Spartans are facing NJIT for the fourth time in program history with Upstate holding a 3-0 lead in the all-time series. The Spartans defeated the Highlanders in the first meeting this season, 75-65, in Spartanburg as both teams began conference play.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. The game is being streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate men’s basketball Twitter page (@UpstateMB).
The ASUN Men’s Basketball Championship begins on Monday, Feb. 27.