Home Longwood falls to USC Upstate, 72-67, snapping three-game Big South winning streak

Longwood falls to USC Upstate, 72-67, snapping three-game Big South winning streak

Chris Graham
longwood basketball
Logo: Longwood Athletics

USC Upstate snapped Longwood’s three-game winning streak with a 72-67 victory on Wednesday.

DeShaun Wade led the Lancers (18-10 Big South, 10-5 Big South) with 14 points and Isaiah Wilkins added 12, including a pair of late three-pointers that cut Upstate’s steady second-half lead from 11 to one possession in the final minutes.

But Jordan Gainey had 17 for Upstate (13-13, 8-7 Big South) as the Spartans opened the second half on an 8-0 run, built a lead as high as 11, then held off several runs when Longwood got within striking distance but couldn’t sustain enough momentum.

“I was proud of the guys for battling back there and continuing to fight,” Longwood coach Griff Aldrich said. “The problem is as I told the guys we have to be a more competitive team than we were tonight.”

With Gardner-Webb also losing Wednesday, Longwood remains tied for third in the Big South standings – but still has games against everyone else in the mix. The Lancers host second-place Radford on Saturday, travel to Gardner-Webb next Wednesday, then close out their regular season a week from Saturday against first-place UNC-Asheville in the final game in Willett Hall – a matchup that will have not just historical meaning but could help determine the Big South regular season champion and seeding heading into the conference tournament.

After trailing much of the first half, the Lancers seemed to carry momentum into halftime, after a five-point run in the final minute trimmed a seven-point Upstate lead to a 35-33 deficit at the break. But it was the Spartans who came harder out of the locker room, quickly building their lead to 11 in the early minutes of the second half as the Lancers struggled to get stops.

Longwood didn’t quit, but struggled as foul calls piled up and seemed to sap the momentum every time the offense started to get in gear.

Longwood remains on track for another historic season – its first ever with back-to-back finishes over .500 overall during the Division I era, and finishing .500 or better in the Big South for four straight years, having never previously done so.

“I fully believe in this team,” Aldrich said. “I believe in DeShaun and Isaiah and Zac (Watson) and Leslie (Nkereuwem), DA (Houston) and Walyn (Napper). We’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of capability, we just have to be able to unlock that passion. That’s my fault. I haven’t been able to do that. We’ll get back at it tomorrow and be ready for Radford Saturday.”

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].

Latest News

isaac mckneely
Basketball, Sports

Analysis: Tony Bennett is letting his Virginia team try to do more in transition

elijah gertrude
Basketball, Sports

Virginia Basketball Notebook: Tony Bennett on Elijah Gertrude, Jordan Minor

Virginia coach Tony Bennett and freshman combo guard Elijah Gertrude had agreed before the start of the season that Gertrude should redshirt this year so that he could focus on rehabbing his knee.

chesapeake bay
Climate, U.S. & World

Maryland moves to curb striped bass fishing in spring spawning season

Spurred by slumping striped bass reproduction in Maryland waters, the state Department of Natural Resources is moving to curtail fishing for the popular migratory species during its spawning run next spring.

earth globe

Roddy Scheer: How do enhanced geothermal power plants differ from regular geothermal?

climate change

Roddy Scheer: War is horrible, and it is no less so for the environment


Tom H. Hastings: Guerrilla war in cities and other evolutionary missteps

veteran uniform

Robert C. Koehler: War does nothing but create the certainty of more war