SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Fred Miller scored 15 points and Ty Greene added 14 with four assists as South Carolina-Upstate defeated Florida International 68-53 in the opener of the Spartanburg Marriott Upstate Classic on Thursday.
The first half saw five ties and six lead changes but the Panthers (3-2) went stone cold in the second, scoring one field goal in a stretch of 12:32 and shooting 27 percent for the half.
Upstate (4-1) stretched a 32-25 halftime lead to 50-34 by the time FIU scored it second bucket. It's the best five-game start for Upstate since joining Division I in 2007-08.
In the icy stretch, FIU missed 16 field goals — from treys to layups — falling out of the game and into their second-consecutive loss.
Greene scored six in that stretch and Miller four. Upstate made 12 steals, Mario Blessing leading with four.
Dennis Mavin led the Panthers with 14 points.