CLINTON, S.C. – USC Upstate’s late run in the first half gave the Spartans a 32-17 lead which they held through several Blue Hose rallies in the second, to take the 65-51 win over the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team in Big South action Thursday evening at Templeton Center in Clinton, S.C. Rayshon Harrison led PC with 20 points and five rebounds.
Scoring the Game
A close and low scoring game for the first 10 minutes of the first half, USC Upstate held a narrow 13-11 lead, 10:27 on the clock. USC Upstate picked up back-to-back three-pointers, building the lead to eight, before a couple of free throws by PC knocked it to six, 19-13, 9:09 left. The Spartan offense, sparked by another back-to-back set of three-pointers, recorded 10 straight and closed out the half with a 13-4 run, the four Blue Hose points coming from two Rayshon Harrison baskets, and went into the locker room leading 32-17.
Presbyterian came out of the second half gates strong, posting seven unanswered to cut the margin to eight, 24-32, forcing a Spartan timeout at 17:32. USC Upstate used an 8-2 run to take a 14-point lead, 14:09 left. After a back and forth battle the next three minutes, USC Upstate led by 13, 45-32, 11:04 remaining. Behind four points from Rayshon Harrison, PC cut the margin to nine before the Spartans returned the favor with two from the charity stripe and a basket by Nevin Zink to make it a 13-point game again, 49-36, 8:30 to go. Upstate hit a couple of three-pointers in just over a minute to extend its lead to 17, 57-40, 5:59 on the clock. It was Harrison again with four points to cut the margin to 13 again, 5:02 remaining. That would be as close as the Blue Hose would get with the Spartans taking the next eight of the game’s 11 points to build the lead to 18. PC ended the game with two baskets as USC Upstate took the game by the final score of 65-51.
Players of the Game
Rayshon Harrison paced PC with 20 points, his seventh 20-point game of the season, as well as a team-leading five rebounds. Everette Hammond led USC Upstate with 13 points, with Josh Aldrich pulling down five rebounds.
Stats of the Game
Both teams struggled the first 10 minutes of the first half, with a combined score of 24, 10 minutes in. USC Upstate picked up its offense to close out the half with 50.0% from the field, while the Blue Hose struggled to finish the opening 20 minutes with 22.7%. The second half saw PC shoot an impressive 65.0% to bring the final up to 42.9%. USC Upstate recorded 48.0%. Rebounds were fairly even with USC Upstate holding the 28-27 edge. The Spartans hit four more three-pointers, 9-5, and had three fewer turnovers, 19-22. The Spartan bench came up big in the first half, 17-3, continuing it into the second, ending the game with a 28-5 advantage.
Winston Hill’s career-high five steals tied for fourth in the PC Division I record book.
For the Record
PC moves to 7-13 overall, 5-11 in the league, while USC Upstate improves to 5-16, 5-10.
PC is scheduled to round out the regular season as it hosts Charleston Southern in a two-game set, Feb. 23-24, with both start times at 7p.m. The schedule is subject to change with notice.