Nashville, Tenn. - Three days after falling to Middle Tennessee State, the TSU men's basketball team will look to rebound against USC-Upstate at home on Friday at 7 p.m.
The 5-7 Tigers will put their perfect 3-0 home record on the line as they host the Spartans for their last tune-up game before starting Ohio Valley Conference play on Dec. 29.
"Friday's game will be a big game," head coach Travis Williams said. "We are playing a very good team that was picked to be second in the Atlantic Sun before the season and is also well-coached. We are excited to play [USC-Upstate] at home."
Last year, TSU was 6-6 going into the final non-conference before going 11-5 during OVC play and finishing in second place.
"The team is going to have to be more consistent going forward. We have to be ready to play like we are capable of in every game and stay focused," Williams said.
This year's team hopes that a victory against USC-Upstate on Friday will provide the same spark that led to a strong finish. However, the Tigers first must play a 4-6 Spartan squad that is led by Torrey Craig. Craig is currently averaging a conference-high 18.7 points while also pulling down 5.5 rebounds per game.
As a team, USC-Upstate is second in the Atlantic Sun in both field goal percentage (45.4 percent) and three-point percentage (34.1 percent).
"Upstate relies on half-court sets: a lot of five-man motions and curl cuts. We have to be ready to guard against all of their action," Williams said.
Upstate's last game was at Baylor on Monday and the Spartans nearly pulled the upset before falling 57-73 at the hands of the Bears.
The matchup between the Tigers and Spartans will be the first meeting between the two schools. Both will be looking to pick up a win before taking an extended break for the holidays.
Friday's contest will also serve as the 92 Q Old-School Party, and TSU alumni are encouraged to attend and take part in the festivities.