College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Seeking to earn their 10th win of the young season, the 19th-ranked Maryland Terrapins will close out their six-game homestand against the USC Upstate Spartans in a non-conference battle at Xfinity Center.
The Spartans enter the clash with the Big Ten Conference Terps on a three-game win streak, having recently moved into the mid-major Top-25 poll. In the last two games, Upstate has taken down North Carolina A&T (65-54) and pulled an upset of the ACC's Georgia Tech (59-54) on the road.
Maryland sports a 9-1 record this season coming into Saturday's contest, having only dropped a contest to Virginia (76-65). In the last two games played, the Terps have defeated Winthrop (82-62) and NC Central (67-56).
This clash between USC Upstate and Maryland will represent the first all-time between the sides on the basketball court.
USC Upstate and Georgia Tech went into halftime knotted at 28-28 in the Spartans' most recent outing, but it was a strong second half that propelled the visitors to a road victory. The Spartans connected on just 30.8 percent of their shots in the frame, but made four 3-pointers and 11 free throws compared to one 3-pointer and three free throws for the Yellow Jackets, which made all the difference. Ty Greene netted 16 points to pace Upstate, hitting a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. ShunQuez Stephens contributed 13 points and six rebounds to the cause, and Josh Cuthbertson chipped in with 12 points off the bench.
The Spartans have shown they can be effective on both ends of the court this season, netting a solid 74.4 ppg on 43.9 percent shooting, along with holding opponents to a mere 55.2 ppg on 36.4 percent from the field. Greene is at the center of the scoring for USC Upstate this season, coming into the game netting 16.4 ppg to lead the team. Fred Miller checks in behind Greene at 13.3 ppg on 46 percent shooting, adding in a 47.1 percent mark from 3-point range. Stephens comes into the contest against Maryland leading the team in rebounding at 5.8 rpg.
Maryland didn't have the easiest time disposing of NC Central in Wednesday night's 11-point Terps victory, but in the end it was a strong offensive performance for the home Terrapins, who shot 48.8 percent from the floor. Richaud Pack led the way for Maryland, netting 17 points and adding in 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Jake Layman chipped in with 15 points and four assists, while Melo Trimble added 12 points with four helpers of his own in the win.
Maryland's leading scorer Dez Wells (16.2 ppg in five games played) missed yet another game after undergoing surgery on his right wrist, and he'll be sitting yet again for this clash with USC Upstate. The potentially good news for Maryland is that forward Evan Smotrycz is questionable to play after spraining his left ankle earlier this season. Smotrycz has played in just two games this season. Trimble is the team's active leading scorer at 16.0 ppg, followed closely by Layman's 15.2 ppg mark. Layman also leads the team in rebounding, bringing down an average of 5.4 rpg.