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Basketball (M)

Graves nets 1,000th point in Men's Basketball loss to Upstate

SALISBURY, NC -- USC Upstate placed six players in double figures and defeated host Catawba 78-69 in men’s basketball action on Tuesday night at Goodman Gym. The Spartans improve to 2-1, while the Catawba Indians fall to 1-2.

The Spartans used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to take control of the game. A three-point play by Daniel Quinlan (Charleston, SC) at the 11:11 mark of the opening stanza gave USCS a 16-15 edge and started the run.

Catawba rallied back from the 24-15 deficit to trim the lead to one on two occasions late in the half. A jumper by Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) made it 31-30 with 2:48 to go before the break, but the Spartans got back-to-back baskets by Jabreel Moton (Cincinnati, OH) to go up 35-30 and took a 39-32 edge at the break.

The Spartans pulled out to a 60-42 lead on a steal and dunk by Jay Free (Spartanburg, SC) with 10:45 remaining. Catawba fought back and closed within nine on a pair of free throws by Isaac Rose (Jonesville, NC) with 4:23 left. USCS made enough at the line to hold the lead the rest of the way.

Free led the balanced Spartan attack with 14 points, while Jeremy Byrd (Greenville, SC) and Quinlan each added 13. Luke Payne (Spartanburg, SC) tallied a dozen points with Moton and Preston Eppinger (Stone Mountain, GA) each adding 10 points.

Graves led Catawba with 21 points, including four three-pointers. He went over the 1,000-point mark in his career in the loss, coming on a three-pointer with 8:10 left to bring the Tribe within 62-51. Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC) followed with 11 points off the bench.


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