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Late USC Upstate run dooms Longwood; eighth loss in 10 games for Lancers

Chris Graham
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That promising 12-3 start for Longwood has hit an extended rough patch.

The Lancers dropped another tight one on Wednesday, falling to USC Upstate, 69-64, at the Joan Perry Brock Center.

Over the final 11 minutes, the two sides traded the lead seven times and were tied four more as neither team could create much separation.

Trae Broadnax had a big second half for the visitors, scoring 11 of his 20 points, but Walyn Napper poured in 10 of his 17 after halftime for Longwood (14-11, 2-8 Big South).

Michael Christmas and Johnathan Massie also scored in double figures with 10 apiece.

Justin Bailey had 14 points for USC Upstate (8-15, 3-7 Big South).

USC Upstate used a 6-0 spurt, aided in part by a technical foul on Longwood coach Griff Aldrich with 3:16 to go, to take the lead for good.

“I’ve gotta own this,” Aldrich said after the game. “It’s unacceptable to get a technical with three-and-a-half minutes left. This is my fault. We preach discipline, and that was a very costly error on my part. I own that. This is in large part my loss. It went from a one point game to a five point game. All I can do is say I’m sorry to the guys and try to do better.”

After the Upstate scoring run, Napper hit a pair of layups to pull the Lancers within three, 67-64, as the defense forced a pair of late turnovers.

With 34 seconds left, Longwood had a pair of open threes refuse to go down, and USC Upstate finally secured the basketball to put the game away with two Broadnax free throws.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].