Upstate Continues A-Sun Play Saturday with Northern Kentucky

January 15, 2015 at 5:05 pm

The USC Upstate men’s basketball teams look for its sixth straight home win Saturday at 2 p.m. when the Spartans welcome conference foe Northern Kentucky to the Hodge Center.

The Spartans have won five of their last six games and rank first in the conference in scoring offensive (71.3 ppg) and first in scoring defense (57.6 ppg). Upstate is also atop the league in steals (10.1 spg) and assists (16.2 apg) and rank 10th and 24th in the NCAA, respectively.

Individually, senior guard Ty Greene is first in the league in scoring (17.1 ppg) and in steals (2.6 spg), while ranking 14th in assists (2.5 apg) and eighth in free throw percentage (.714). Fellow senior guard Fred Miller is ninth in the conference in scoring (12.7 ppg), second in steals (2.1 spg) and fourth in assists (3.8 apg).

Junior ShunQuez Stephens is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game over his last four games and now ranks second in the league with 5.8 boards per game. Sophomore Michael Buchanan is second in the A-Sun with 2.1 offensive rebounds per game.

Northern Kentucky saw its four-game losing streak snapped Wednesday with a 76-72 win over Kennesaw State to improve to 7-10 overall and 1-1 inside the league. The Norse are 2-7 on the road and have lost eight straight A-Sun road games dating back to last season.

Freshman guard Tayler Persons leads the team and ranks 10th in the A-Sun with 12.5 points per game. Senior guard Chad Jackson pulls down a team-high 4.9 rebounds per game. Jalen Billups averages 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and leads the league with a .657 field goal percentage.

USC Upstate and Northern Kentucky will be meeting on the hardwood for the fifth time when the two schools tipoff Saturday. Upstate owns a 3-1 record in the all-time series that began during the 2012-13 season. The Spartans won both meetings last season by an average of 13.0 points per game. Northern Kentucky is 1-1 all-time inside the Hodge Center.

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