December 21, 2006
Wooldridge's Double-Double Not Enough as Men's Basketball Falls to USC Upstate
SPARTANBURG, SC -- Spartan Ante Pikunic finished with a career-high 20 points to lead USC Upstate to an 87-75 victory over visiting Catawba in men’s basketball action on Saturday night at the G.B. Hodge Center. Upstate improves to 8-3, while the Catawba Indians fall to 2-6.
Pikunic added five rebounds and a blocked shot for the Spartans. Jeremy Byrd had an outstanding all-around game, finishing with 10 points, eight assists, and six steals. Luke Payne added 16 points and four rebounds, while Jay Free tallied 15 points and four assists. Jabreel Moton rounded out the double figure scoring with 10 points to go along with five boards.
Chris Wooldridge led Catawba with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double. Brian Graves added 19 points and eight assists, while Antonio Houston finished with 12 points.
Houston opened the game with a three-pointer and his mid-range jumper with 15:48 to play in the first half gave Catawba a 13-8 lead. Upstate countered with an 8-0 run with Pikunic scoring five of the eight points to take a 16-15 lead.
With Upstate holding an 18-17 lead, the Spartans made four three-pointers and a Pikunic jumper to go on a 14-0 run and open a 32-17 lead with 8:44 to play in the half. Zac Rich hit two three-pointers in the run. The sophomore finished the game with a career-high nine points in 14 minutes of playing time.
Catawba cut the lead to eight points under two minutes to go in the first half and Upstate went into the half with a 45-36 lead. Wooldridge’s dunk cut the Upstate lead to seven points 35 seconds into the second half, but Pikunic had a layup and a three-pointer in a 7-0 Spartan run as Upstate opened a 14-point cushion, 52-38, with 17:24 to play in the game.
The lead stayed in double digits until Norman Monroe’s jumper cut the Spartan lead to nine points with 11:34 to play. Rich hit his third three-pointer of the game to give Upstate a 12-point lead with 11:00 remaining and the lead never dipped below eight points the rest of the way as the Spartans went on for the victory.
Upstate finished the game shooting 29-of-58 from the floor, hitting 50 percent of its shots. The Spartans were also strong from behind the three-point arc, making 11-of-21 on the night. Catawba shot the ball well, hitting 46 percent of its shots, but was just 4-of-18 from behind the arc.