SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Andrew Rowsey scored 19 points to lead UNC Asheville to a 73-63 road victory over USC Upstate Sunday afternoon at the Hodge Center.
The Bulldogs (3-7) won their second straight game as David Robertson added a career-high 18 points. Jaron Lane scored all 14 of his points in the second half. He went 12-for-12 from the free throw, including eight in the final two minutes.
"We played well today. This is as great win against a very good basketball team on the road," stated first-year coach Nick McDevitt. "We got contributions from everyone and were able to withstand their runs to get the win. This is a big win for our guys,"
Torrey Craig and Ty Green led the Spartans (5-5) with 19 points each.
"We played with a lot of poise down the stretch," commented McDevitt. “I liked the job we did on the boards and did a nice job handling the ball. We had 14 turnovers which is a little high for us but USC Upstate was pressing us the whole game and I thought we handled their pressure defense pretty well.”
Asheville seized control of the game midway through the first half. Trailing 16-10, Rowsey and Robertson led a 12-0 Bulldog run to give the visitors a 22-16 lead. Asheville would never trail again.
Robertson hit two treys in the run, while Rowsey knocked down a three-pointer and was fouled on an attempt. He hit all three free throws.
The visitors increased the lead to 32-23 at halftime as Robertson knocked down a trey with six seconds left in the half.
Asheville limited the home team to just .273 (6-of-22) shooting from the field. Robertson and Rowsey combined for 24 of the Bulldogs points in the opening half.
Lane didn’t score in the opening half but came out of the gates quickly in the second half, scoring six quick points to give Asheville its biggest lead at 43-27 at the 15:45 mark..
USC Upstate gradually cut into the lead but the Bulldogs constantly got key buckets in stem the Spartans. One possession was crucial midway through the game when USC Upstate had cut the lead to 49-38. Asheville got five offensive rebounds and ran close to two minutes off the close before Chudier Pal sank a 15-footer to give the Bulldogs a 51-38 lead.
The home team finally got the lead below double figures with less than three minutes left and was within seven at 60-53 with 2:06 left on a Craig free throw.
Sam Hughes made a nice pass to D.J. Cunningham who scored on a dunk and was fouled with 1:52 left. He made the free throw to give the Bulldogs back in front 63-53.
The Spartans closed to seven three times, but Lane was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe to close out the win.
Asheville went 21-of-24 from the charity stripe for .875 shooting. The Bulldogs held a 36-32 advantage on the boards. D.J. Cunningham had eight rebounds for the visitors. Cunningham moved into a tie for ninth place on the Bulldogs career list for rebounding with Paul Allen at 611.
UNC Asheville starts a four-game homestand on Friday against Virginia Intermont at 7 p.m.
UNC Asheville is 7-2 in the month of December over the past two seasons.
Jaron Lane’s 12-of-12 performance from the free throw line was just off the school record of 13-of-13 performances by Bryan Smithson and Paul Allen.
Asheville is 2-0 in the state of South Carolina this season after winning at College of Charleston last month, 67-58.
Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figures in nine of the Bulldogs 10 games this season.
Sam Hughes had seven rebounds on Sunday and has grabbed 18 rebounds in the last two games.
Jaron Lane has scored in double figures in six straight games.