SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Stetson men’s basketball team was unable to produce offensively in falling on the road to USC Upstate by a score of 66-48 on Monday night at the Hodge Center. Senior Willie Green led the Hatters with 11 points, scoring in double figures for the 10th straight game.
“Tonight we played a good first half,” Stetson head coach Corey Williams said. “We were right in the game. In the second half they came out and were more physical than we were, they were the tougher team, and we didn’t match their intensity.”
Stetson (7-19, 5-9) held the Spartans to 27 points on just 34.5 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, but the Hatters were only able to score 24 for the first 20 minutes of action.
Ricardo Glenn was responsible for most of the damage in the first frame, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds – four of which were offensive. The Spartans (16-12, 9-6) totaled nine offensive rebounds, which they turned into 10 second chance points in the first half.
“I thought we were fantastic defensively in the first half,” Williams said. “They only scored 66 points in the game. If you dissect it, and you look at how many times our lack of block outs ended in points for them, you realize the game could have been much closer.”
Upstate extended its three-point halftime lead to 12, at 40-28, just over five minutes into the second frame. Preseason Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year Torrey Craig ignited the Spartan run, scoring seven points during the stretch.
While Upstate improved on its first half offensive output, Stetson continued to struggle from the floor. The Hatters shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and were 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, scoring another 24 points in the second half.
“The other thing is that we weren’t making shots,” said Williams. “If we’re not making shots then it’s difficult for us to win basketball games, and we saw that tonight. Their confidence grew because of that.”
The Spartans cruised during the final seven minutes, extending their lead to as many as 20 points before settling on the 66-48 victory. With the win Upstate moved into a tie for third place in the league with ETSU.
Glenn finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Craig led all players with 20 points in the victory. ShunQuez Stephens grabbed a game high 10 rebounds and Fred Miller dealt out a game best seven assists.
Green’s 11 points led the Hatters. Junior Kentwan Smith grabbed nine rebounds.
Stetson will next return home for the final regular season weekend in DeLand. The Hatters host Kennesaw State Friday at 7:00 p.m., and then welcome Mercer to the Edmunds Center on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.