Minneapolis, Minn. – Malik Moore finished with 23 points, while Jure Span added a career-high 19, as the USC Upstate men’s basketball team began the Kyle Perry era on Friday evening with a 92-77 defeat to the 15th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers in its season opener from Williams Arena.
Upstate falls to 0-1 on the season while Minnesota improves to 1-0 overall.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- The Spartans had a total of four players finish with 10 or more points in Moore, Span, Mike Cunningham and Ramel Thompkins.
- Moore led Upstate offensively with 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting and went a career-best 9-of-12 at the free throw line. He also had six rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks.
- Span set a new career-high in scoring with 19 points after making a career-best six field goals and tied his career-high of three blocks.
- Cunningham added 13 points while Thompkins recorded his third career double-double on 11 points and 10 rebounds.
- Deion Holmes came off the bench to score eight points and Carson Smith pulled down four rebounds to go with four assists.
- Jordan Murphy led all players after compiling a double-double of 35 points and 15 rebounds for the Golden Gophers.
- Reggie Lynch also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
- Nate Mason collected 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.
- The Spartans finished the game shooting 38.2 percent (26-of-68) from the field and 14-for-31 (45.2 percent) from 3-point range.
- Upstate fell just one made 3-pointer away from having 15 in a game for the first time since Jan. 24, 2015 against Stetson.
- The Spartans led 9-4 in fast break points.
- The score was tied four times while the lead changed hands seven times.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- Moore and Span combined for 21 points in the first half as Span scored 11 and Moore 10.
- Span tied his previous career-high of 11 points in the first half.
- Upstate received three consecutive 3-pointers from Cunningham, Smith and Span to hold an early 11-9 lead less than four minutes into the game.
- Another triple by Span gave the Spartans their largest lead of the contest at 14-10 with 14:19 left.
- Holmes kept Upstate’s lead at four points just over two minutes later when his layup made the score 16-12.
- Minnesota led by as many as three points five times leading up to the 5:08 mark as the Spartans trailed 31-28.
- Upstate tied the score twice during that stretch capped when Moore connected on a 3-pointer to even the score at 31-31 with just under five minutes remaining.
- The Golden Gophers finished the final 2:31 on a 12-2 run and led 43-33 at halftime.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- Minnesota continued the run into the second half outscoring the Spartans 14-5 and took its largest lead of the game at 57-38 with 14:14 remaining.
- Upstate came back with a quick 7-0 run that covered two minutes and cut its deficit down to 57-45 capped by a tip-in basket from Cunningham.
- The Golden Gophers managed to push their lead back out to 16 points twice including at the 8:53 mark when Murphy’s dunk put the score at 69-53.
- Cunningham and Thompkins followed with back-to-back 3-pointers as the Spartans used an 8-1 run to get to within single digits, 70-61, with just under eight minutes left.
- Upstate would only get as close as 13 points the rest of the way when Moore’s jumper at the 2:28 mark made the score 86-73.
- Minnesota led by as many as 17 points twice over the final 5:03 with the last coming at 90-73 with 1:41 to go.
- Moore was successful on a free throw with 31 seconds left to put the final score at 92-77.
- The Spartans host Allen in their home opener on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.
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