USC Upstate (0-2) vs. Wofford (0-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 18th, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carolina First Arena (5,100) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: MASN/CSS. Home Record: USC Upstate 0-0, Wofford 0-0. Away Record: USC Upstate 0-2, Wofford 0-2. Neutral Record: UUSC Upstate 0-0, Wofford 0-0. Conference Record: SC Upstate 0-0, Wofford 0-0. Series Record: Wofford leads, 15-7.
GAME NOTES: Cross town rivals take the court this afternoon at the Carolina First Arena, as the Wofford Terriers and the USC Upstate Spartans battle in first-round action of the Charleston Classic.
Wofford and USC Upstate are only separated by a few miles yet this will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1988. Before both schools were in the Division I rankings, they collided 22 times on the hardwood with the Terriers winning 15 of the matchups.
Last season the Spartans claimed just six victories, and after their efforts in the first two games of the season, coach Eddie Payne could be in for another long year. USC Upstate opened the season with an embarrassing 66-35 loss to Michigan, and that was followed by an equally poor, 74-54 setback to Virginia.
Wofford, the defending Southern Conference champions, have unfortunately opened the new year in similar fashion to the Spartans. The Terriers, who are also winless in two games, began the year against a Big Ten school in Minnesota, and fell by a 69-55 margin. The Terriers then battled an ACC squad, just like USC Upstate, and while the Terriers put up more of a fight, they eventually fell to Clemson, 78-70.
The Spartans have been ice cold to start the year, totaling just 89 points in their first two matchups. Against Virginia, coach Payne's team shot a solid 43.2 percent from the field, and even connected on 43.5 percent of their three-point attempts, but still only finished with 54 points in the loss. The lack of scoring is likely due to the team's inability to crash the boards, as the Spartans totaled just 18 rebounds against the Cavaliers, and only three came at the offensive end of the floor. Tony Dukes, who was a perfect 5-of-5 from behind the arc, was the only player in double figures for USC-Upstate, finishing the game with 19 points. He has been the best player in both matchups for the Spartans, but he will need help if this team is to eclipse last year's win total.
The Terriers gave the Tigers all they could ask for, and made Clemson sweat it out down the stretch. Wofford shot a respectable 47.8 percent in the loss to Clemson, but the team could not overcome its 17 turnovers. Noah Dahlman, was solid in the first game, continues to be the leader on the floor for Wofford, as he scored 17 points against the Tigers. Brad Loesing added 14 points, while Cameron Rundles tallied 10. What hurt Wofford's chances was the ineffective play of Tim Johnson. Johnson, who opened the season with a double-double, was bottled up by Clemson in the paint, as the forward finished with just nine points and six rebounds.
Both teams might be 0-2, but the Spartans have looked terrible, while the Terriers have put up a solid fight at times in both of their matchups. Bottom line is that Wofford is the much better, and this experienced team and should keep the Spartans winless on the year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wofford 69, USC Upstate 50
11/18 10:42:10 ET