Wood leads Akron past South Carolina-Upstate 64-60
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP)—Jeremiah Wood scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Akron held on to defeat South Carolina Upstate 64-60 Friday at the BP Top of the World Classic.
Akron (1-0) led by as many as 19 points in the first half, but South Carolina Upstate (0-2) behind Luke Payne’s six points began the second half with an 8-2 run and closed to 43-34 with 15:56 left.
With just under nine minutes left, Payne hit a jump shot and a free throw to start a 12-3 run that drew the Spartans to within two points at 56-58, but South Carolina Upstate could get no closer.
With 50 seconds remaining, the Spartans’ Rashawn Brailsford forced a turnover and fed Rory Spencer, who scored on a short jump shot in the lane to close to 63-60.
South Carolina Upstate had a chance to tie as the clock wound down but missed three straight 3-pointers.
Akron’s Wood, who had missed five consecutive free throws, hit one with two seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
Quade Milum scored 14 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Zips.
Nicek Schneiders had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans.