Spartans Close Regular Season Saturday at Northern Kentucky

February 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

The USC Upstate men’s basketball team puts the finishing touches on the 2014-15 regular season Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Highland Heights, Ky., to face Northern Kentucky from The Bank of Kentucky Center.

Upstate celebrated Senior Night Wednesday and cruised to a 70-47 victory over Lipscomb to earn the No. 3 seed and at least one home game in next week’s Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. In addition, Upstate tied the school record for the most wins in a season during the Division I era with 21.

Ty Greene scored 25 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds and enters the weekend first in the A-Sun and 14th in the NCAA in scoring with 20.1 points per game. Upstate is on the verge of becoming only the third school in A-Sun history with the league scoring champion three times in a four year span. Former Upstate great Torrey Craig paced the league in scoring in 2012 and 2013.

Greene also ranks first in the A-Sun and 13th in the country with 2.3 steals per game. Overall, the Spartans are 13th in the country with 8.5 steals per game and have featured 10 games with double digit steals.

ShunQuez Stephens tied a career-high with 15 points to go along with nine rebounds against the Bisons and is averaging 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game over his last three games. Stephens ranks fourth in the league with 5.8 rebounds per game and Upstate is second overall with 38.2 boards per game.

Fred Miller had nine points, six rebounds and five steals Wednesday and is second in the league in assists (4.2 apg) and steals (1.9 spg). Miller also ranks 11th in the conference in scoring with 12.5 points per game.

Northern Kentucky snapped a four-game road losing streak Thursday with a 78-53 victory at Kennesaw State. The Norse improved to 12-16 overall and 6-7 in the league and will either be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the A-Sun Tournament.

Tayler Persons leads Northern Kentucky and ranks ninth in the league with 13.1 points per game and sixth with 3.7 assists per game. Jalen Billups is second on the team with 11.1 points per game and ranks seventh in the conference with 5.7 rebounds per game.

USC Upstate and Northern Kentucky will be meeting on the hardwood for the sixth time when the two schools tipoff Saturday. Upstate owns a 3-2 record in the all-time series that began during the 2012-13 season. Northern Kentucky won the most recent meeting when the Norse registered a 66-65 victory earlier this season in the Hodge Center. Upstate, however, is 2-0 all-time at The Bank of Kentucky Center and has won by an average of 11.5 points per game.