Fort Myers, Fla. – Mike Cunningham tied his career-high of 28 points to lead the eighth-seeded USC Upstate men's basketball team on Monday evening but the Spartans would fall to the top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 96-76 in the quarterfinals of the ASUN Men's Basketball Championship at Alico Arena.
USC Upstate's season ends with a 7-25 overall record while Florida Gulf Coast improves to 22-10 on the year.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- Cunningham finished the game 10-of-19 from the floor and connected on 5-of-12 3-pointers to go with four rebounds and three assists.
- He previously scored 28 points at North Florida on Feb. 11, 2017.
- Cunningham was one of three players to finish in double-figures scoring along with 17 points from Malik Moore and 14 by Ramel Thompkins.
- Thompkins fell one rebound shy of a double-double after pulling down a game-high nine.
- Zach Johnson led the Eagles offensively with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 4-for-6 behind the 3-point line.
- Christian Terrell and Antravious Simmons each contributed 18 points.
- The Spartans concluded the game shooting 42.2 percent (27-of-64) from the field and made 13 3-pointers.
- USC Upstate also made 9 of its 12 free throw attempts for a 75.0 percent mark.
- The Spartans held a 36-32 advantage over Florida Gulf Coast in rebounds.
- Both teams finished with nine second chance points.
- The game featured five lead changes and three ties.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN
- USC Upstate opened the game scoring nine of the first 14 points and led 9-5 at the 17:08 mark on a layup by Deion Holmes.
- The Eagles answered with nine consecutive points and went ahead 14-9 with 13:50 left.
- The Spartans cut their deficit down to one point twice with the last coming at 16-15 with 11:14 remaining after a layup from Cunningham.
- Florida Gulf Coast would then go on a 9-0 run and increased its lead to 25-15 three minutes later.
- USC Upstate got to within four points before the Eagles took a 31-23 lead with 5:21 to go.
- Moore and Cunningham combined for the next 10 points to give the Spartans the lead back at 33-31 with 3:45 left on a 3-pointer by Moore.
- After FGCU regained the lead, Moore trimmed the USC Upstate deficit down to one, 37-36, with 1:12 to go after his layup.
- RaySean Scott Jr. knocked down a jumper with six seconds remaining to give the Eagles a 39-36 lead at halftime.
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN
- Cunningham was fouled less than 20 seconds into the second half and made all three free throws to tie the score at 39-39.
- Thompkins followed the next possession with a 3-pointer to put the Spartans back ahead 42-41 at the 19:08 mark.
- USC Upstate would stay at a two-point deficit three times over the next three minutes and trailed 49-47 at the 16:31 mark on a layup from Thomas Booker.
- A series of free throws by Florida Gulf Coast at the 13:10 mark increased its lead out to eight points at 62-54.
- The Eagles went ahead by double-digits the following series and held a 64-54 advantage.
- Cunningham kept the Spartans within eight points on his 3-pointer with 9:25 remaining to put the score at 73-65.
- Florida Gulf Coast answered with a 3-pointer at the 8:22 mark and led by double-figures the rest of the game.
- USC Upstate got as close as 14 points, 84-70, with 5:17 left after Thompkins made three free throws.
- The Eagles held their largest lead of the game at 92-70 with 3:13 remaining on a pair of free throws.
- A free throw by FGCU with 16 seconds to go made the final score 96-76.
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