Holmes 24 Points Not Enough, USC Upstate Falls at Denver, 84-69

Denver, Colo. (USC Upstate SID) – Deion Holmes scored a game-high 24 points to lead three Spartans in double-figures as the USC Upstate men’s basketball team fell to the Denver Pioneers 84-69 in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Magness Arena.

Upstate drops to 3-9 on the season while Denver improves to 5-5 overall.


  • Holmes recorded the 12th 20-plus point scoring game of his career after leading the Spartans offensively matching his season-high of 24 points. The junior connected on a career-high seven 3-pointers.
  • Malik Moore made six field goals and went 5-for-7 at the free throw line to finish with 17 points.
  • Jure Span added 10 points and tied for a game-high after dishing out six assists.
  • Carson Smith set a new season-high with seven rebounds to lead Upstate defensively while Isaiah Anderson tied his career-high of six.
  • Daniel Amigo scored a team-leading 21 points for the Pioneers and was joined in double-figures by Joe Rosga (14 points), Jake Pemberton (10 points) and Christian Mackey (10 points).
  • Amigo also had a team-best eight rebounds.
  • The Spartans finished the game shooting 41.0 percent (25-of-61) from the field.
  • Upstate connected on 12 3-pointers marking the eighth time this season that it has made double-digit triples in a contest.
  • The Spartans held a 12-4 advantage over Denver in second chance points and added 22 points in the paint.
  • The game featured six ties and three lead changes.


  • The opening seven minutes of the game saw the score tied six times with the last coming at 14-14 with 13:33 remaining on a layup by Anderson.
  • Upstate led twice during that stretch with Smith giving it the advantage both times.
  • Smith put the Spartans in front 7-5 at the 17:15 mark with his layup.
  • Following Anderson’s layup that tied the score for the sixth time, the Pioneers would go on an 11-2 run that covered 4:16 and led 25-16 with 9:12 to go.
  • Holmes cut Upstate’s deficit down to five points, 27-22, with 8:05 left following his 3-pointer.
  • Denver went ahead by 11 points, 33-22, at the 5:51 mark on a layup by Mackey.
  • The Spartans would get as close as nine points twice over the final five minutes of the first half with the last coming at 36-27 with 1:06 left as Holmes made one of two free throws.
  • The Pioneers outscored Upstate 5-1 to close out the half and led 41-28 at intermission.


  • The Spartans scored five of the first seven points to start the second half on a layup by Moore and Holmes’ 3-pointer to make the score 43-33 just over one minute into the half.
  • Denver led by as many as 17 points over the next three minutes when Jake Krafka made a layup and put the score at 52-35.
  • Upstate used a 7-2 run over the following 59 seconds and trimmed the Pioneers lead down to 54-42 at the 14:28 mark on Moore’s layup.
  • The Pioneers held a 64-44 lead with 12:03 left on a pair of free throws by Mackey.
  • Span was successful on his 3-point attempt with 8:00 to go and put the Spartans down 68-50.
  • Denver would hold a 20-plus point advantage over nearly a seven-minute stretch and took its largest lead of the game at 26 points twice with the last coming at 78-52 with 4:40 remaining.
  • Upstate outscored the Pioneers 14-6 over the game’s final 3:31 with Moore and Holmes scoring the final seven points.
  • Moore’s layup with 19 seconds left put the final score at 84-69.


  • After taking a week off for exams, the Spartans close out their eight-game road trip on Saturday, December 16 at 4 p.m. against Jacksonville State.