Spartans Take Winning Streak West to UMKC Tuesday

January 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

The USC Upstate men’s basketball team looks to run it winning streak to four Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Kansas City, Mo., to face the University of Missouri-Kansas City from Municipal Auditorium.

Upstate improved to 8-1 at home following a 68-54 victory over Hampton Saturday afternoon. Ty Greene scored a game-high 26 points and Michael Buchanan added seven points, seven rebounds and a career-best five blocked shots.

The Spartans held a third consecutive opponent to fewer than 60 points and enter play ranked 21st in the NCAA in scoring defense (57.5 ppg), 13th in three-point field goal defense (.274) and 29th in the field goal percentage defense (.376). Additionally, Upstate is fifth in the nation with 10.5 steals per game.

Offensively, Greene stands first in the Atlantic Sun with 17.1 points per game and Fred Miller is ninth with 12.9 points per game. Junior ShunQuez Stephens is first on the team and seventh in the conference with 5.2 rebounds per game, while Buchanan is second in the league with 2.1 offensive rebounds per game.

UMKC has lost four of its last five games after falling 66-61 Saturday at Miami (OH) to drop to 2-8 on the road and 5-11 overall. The Kangaroos are just 3-2 at home and have lost their last two at Municipal Auditorium, having not won at home since Dec. 13 against Nebraska-Omaha.

Sophomore guard Martez Harrison leads UMKC with 18.3 points per game and 4.2 assists per game. Freshman forward Darius Austin is tops on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game.

USC Upstate and UMKC will be meeting on the hardwood for the first time when the two schools tipoff Tuesday. Upstate is 4-0 all-time against the Western Athletic Conference and owns a 12.5 average margin of victory in those contests. The Spartans are 1-0 all-time against Grand Canyon and Utah Valley and 2-0 against UT Pan American.

USC Upstate is also seeking its fourth non-conference road victory of the season. Should the Spartans defeat the Kangaroos, it would be the first time during the Division I era and the first time since the 1990-91 season Upstate has won four non-conference road games.

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