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South Carolina-Upstate 68, Florida International 53

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A pair of one-loss teams clashed Thanksgiving during the first round of the Spartanburg Marriott Upstate Classic, and South Carolina-Upstate emerged with a 68-53 victory over Florida International in Spartanburg, S.C.

It was the first meeting between the two programs, and the Spartans (4-1) pulled away after halftime. USC Upstate turned a close game into a blowout with a 9-2 run after intermission, and they never looked back.

Guard Fred Miller led the Spartans with 15 points, and he added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Guard Ty Greene added 14 points, though he hit just four of 14 shots from the floor, and forward Josh Cuthbertson finished with 13 points.

Guard Dennis Mavin led FIU (3-2) with 14 points. Panthers forward Adrian Diaz, who was coming of a career-high, 33-point game against Georgia Southern, contributed eight points and nine rebounds.

USC Upstate jumped out to a 32-26 halftime lead behind eight points from Cuthbertson. The lead grew to as many as 19 points late in the second half as FIU went ice cold from the field, failing to score for almost five minutes.

Mavin snapped the dry spell with a bucket with a little more than six minutes to play, but by then it was too late.

The Panthers play Friday against Wright State — another first-time meeting. FIU concludes the round-robin tournament Saturday against Cal State Fullerton.

USC Upstate faces Cal State Fullerton on Friday and Wright State on Saturday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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