Upstate Holds off Navy 66-57 for Second Straight Victory

December 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

Annapolis, Md. – Josh Cuthbertson came off the bench to score a team-high 12 points, while Deion Holmes added 11, to lead the USC Upstate men’s basketball team to its second straight victory following a 66-57 win over the Navy Midshipmen Monday evening inside Alumni Hall.

Upstate improves to 3-9 on the season while Navy falls to 8-4.

Cuthbertson finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 behind the three-point line, while adding two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Holmes connected on three three-pointers and added four assists. Michael Buchanan grabbed a team-best six rebounds and Jure Span dished out five assists for the Spartans.

Jace Hogan recorded a double-double for the Midshipmen on 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Navy scored the game’s opening four points to take an early 4-0 lead just over two minutes into the contest on a layup by Will Kelly. Holmes followed with five of the next seven points for Upstate as it used a 7-0 run to go in front of the Midshipmen 7-4 at the 16:20 mark. The Spartans would take their largest lead of the half with 13:34 on the clock after Mike Cunningham connected on a three-pointer, giving Upstate a 12-6 lead.

The Spartans maintained their six-point advantage twice over the next 3:06 with the last coming at 18-12 with 10:28 to go on a field goal by Marvin Smith.

Navy responded with an 8-0 run over the proceeding 1:45 to go in front 20-18 capped by a three from Shawn Anderson. Philip Whittington halted the Midshipmen run just over a minute later with his basket tying the score at 20-20. A three-point play by Kelly extended Navy’s lead to 26-22, its largest of the opening half, at the 4:34 mark.

Upstate held the Midshipmen scoreless over the final 4:33 to head into halftime leading 28-26 after recording the last six points. Smith gave the Spartans the two-point lead at intermission after his layup with 57 seconds remaining.

Upstate started the second half on a 7-0 run over a stretch of 3:25 and took a 35-26 lead after a jumper from Whittington. The Spartans would go ahead by double-figures with 11:09 remaining when Span hit a three-pointer to give them a 44-33 advantage. After Edward Alade followed the next possession with a layup, Cuthbertson answered with a three and put Upstate back in front 47-35.

The Spartans held a double-digit cushion for the ensuing 8:06 and led by as many as 18, 55-37, at the 6:54 mark on another three by Cuthbertson.

Navy fought back to within eight, 62-54, after going on a 17-7 run. Hogan compiled five of those points, including the last two, to trim the Upstate lead to eight with 1:26 left in the game. Cuthbertson and Span pushed the score to 64-54 for the Spartans with one free throw each, but Tilman Dunbar hit a three the following series to make it 64-57. Cuthbertson’s layup with 18 seconds left sealed the 66-57 victory for Upstate.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 51.0% (26-of-51) highlighted by a 52.9% (9-of-17) mark from three. The Midshipmen were 22-of-55 overall for a 40.0% clip.

Upstate held a 20-9 advantage in points off turnovers, 11-9 in second chance points and 33-31 in bench points.

The Spartans travel to Birmingham, Ala. Wednesday evening to face the UAB Blazers at 8 p.m. EST.

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