DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 21st, 11:30 a.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carolina First Arena (5,100) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: USC Upstate 0-0, ECU 2-0. Away Record: USC Upstate 0-2, ECU 0-0. Neutral Record: USC Upstate 0-2, ECU 0-2. Conference Record: USC Upstate 0-0, ECU 0-0. Series Record: East Carolina leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Still in search of their first victory of the new season the USC- Upstate Spartans will collide with the East Carolina Pirates at Carolina First Arena as part of the Charleston Classic.
Coach Eddie Payne's squad struggled through a 23-loss campaign a year ago, and although the new campaign is still young, the Spartans might be in for another long, losing season. USC Upstate has dropped its first four matchups, and each setback has been by double figures. The most recent setback came against Coastal Carolina, which pounded the Spartans, 71-50.
The Pirates were able to open their year with two straight wins, but that was with homecourt advantage against two much weaker schools. Now outside of Greenville the Pirates have struggled, losing two consecutive games. The most recent setback came against Charlotte, as the 49ers slipped past coach Jeff Lebo's team, 74-63.
This will be just the second-ever matchup between the two schools on the hardwood. The only other meeting occurred in 2001, and the Pirates defeated the Spartans, 64-52.
The Spartans' slow start can be attributed to the team's poor play offensively, as the team is currently averaging just 50.0 ppg, behind an equally bad 31.1 percent shooting effort. Not one player is averaging double figures for USC Upstate, as Tony Dukes and Torrey Craig are leading the team with 9.8 ppg apiece. In the 21-point loss to Coastal Carolina, the Spartans put forth another miserable effort, as the team posted a woeful 30.2 percent shooting performance, and also committed 18 turnovers. Craig was the only player in double figures, as the guard tallied 17 points. As for Dukes, he was held to just nine points in the loss.
The Pirates dropped their second straight matchup thanks in large part to an ice-cold shooting performance. In the loss to Charlotte, the Pirates posted a 36.4 percent clip from the field, which included a terrible 3-of-23 showing from long range. Darrius Morrow, who is producing 9.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg, led the way with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. However, Morrow was the only player in double figures for ECU, as Corvonn Gaines followed him with just nine points. Jontae Sherrod, who is leading the team with 10.5 ppg, had a miserable contest, as the guard connected on just 2-of-13 shots, en route to a seven-point effort.
The Pirates have struggled offensively in this tournament, but the Spartans have yet to show any signs of life offensively, and will likely continue to have problems against East Carolina.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Carolina 67, USC Upstate 55
11/21 10:34:21 ET
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