Playing in the smallest gym in Division I only makes big man Ricardo Glenn's inside presence seem even larger. That was especially the case on Monday night against Stetson.
While the Hatters attempted to front the Spartan forward in the post, Glenn still dominated, scoring 18 points and snagging eight rebounds in a 66-48 win for USC Upstate.
Get this: five of those rebounds were on the offensive end. While you might think a physical player like Glenn picks up fouls with regularity, that is the polar opposite as the Augusta native picked up his first foul with four minutes, three seconds remaining in the game.
Stetson opened up the game with two offensive rebounds to keep its initial possession alive, but Upstate put their foot down after that. It looked like this was going to be another Torrey Craig show at the Hodge Center, except that almost lackadaisical play from Eddie Payne's squad kept Stetson within reach during the first half.
The turning point might have come on a play where it seemed that Glenn was attempting to pad what would be some impressive stats. He had a turnaround miss, rebound, and subsequent put-back late in the first half that epitomized his hard nosed effort on the day. The Spartans fed on that energy after the break, opening up in a zone defense that helped create turnovers to extend their lead to double digits.
The Hatters' Willie Green, who finished with 11 points, did his best to attack aggressively but the Upstate size down low was too much. Brian Pegg also showed some versatility and finesse at the rim, but the Spartans zone put a stop to it.
With a double-digit lead built up, Eddie Payne gave leaders Glenn and Craig a rest midway through the second half. Although the Spartans initially didn't know where to go offensively, Fred Miller calmed down the offense. In place of the injured Ty Greene, Miller dished out seven assists, almost half of the Spartans' team total of 15.
Craig would return and so did the ensuing Spartans run. On the way to his 20 points, Craig closed out the game with a couple of threes to give a commanding lead back to Upstate.
Now 9-6 in the Atlantic Sun, USC Upstate is tied for third with East Tennessee State. Prior to those two teams facing off in the regular season finale, the Spartans head to Florida for games against North Florida and Jacksonville.
Stetson, still looking to secure a bid to the Atlantic Sun Tournament, hosts Kennesaw State on Friday.
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