Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate will make the short trip down I-26 to Clinton, S.C., to renew its rivalry with Presbyterian College Thursday night at 7:00 pm in the Templeton Center. The Spartans hold a 19-17 lead in the series that dates back to the 1977-78 season. They have won the last two contests in the series, including a 71-52 victory over the Blue Hose last year in Spartanburg, and are 8-9 all-time in Clinton.
Upstate enters the game with a 1-2 record and on a one-game losing streak after a 95-76 loss at UNC Asheville over a week ago in Asheville. It marked the second time this season that the Spartans have allowed an opponent to score more than 85 points. A contrast in styles, Presbyterian enters the game with a 2-3 record. The Blue Hose have only scored more than 60 points just once in five games. They keep the score low, averaging just 54 points per game but giving up just 51 points an outing. Upstate averages 69 points per game, 15 points more than PC. The game could very well be decided by which team is able to dictate tempo.
Fans can follow the action live online in a variety of ways. Live audio for free will be available through the official Upstate Athletics website at www.upstatespartans.com. Live video will also be available for a fee on Presbyterian College's official Athletics Website at www.gobluehose.com.
Looking Back At UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville shot 49 percent from the field and a strong 44 percent from behind the three-point arc to take a 95-76 victory over Upstate on Nov. 23 in Asheville. The Bulldogs used its motion offense to keep Upstate back on its heels, creating open shots for the lineup that featured no fewer than four guards on the floor at all times. Four Bulldogs finished in double figures, including a game-high 26 from Lindsey Thompson. Upstate's Tee'Ara Copney, playing in front of her hometown fans, led the Spartans with 21 points and a career-high eight assists. Freshman Madisen Webb had a strong showing, finishing with career-highs of 18 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing out on her first career double-double.
Copney Among A-Sun's Best
Sophomore guard Tee'Ara Copney was last year's A-Sun Freshman of the Year. In 2010-11, she may be making her case early on for more hardware from the league. She ranks among the A-Sun leaders in nine statistical categories. She tops the conference in scoring at 20 points per game and ranks in the top five in assists (3rd, 4.7 apg), three-pointers made per game (4th, 3.0 pg) and assist/turnover ratio (4th, 1.17). She also ranks among the league leaders in rebounding, three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals and blocks.
Webb Goes Career At UNCA
Already off to a great start in reaching double figures in her first two games, freshman Madisen Webb turned in the best performance of her career at UNC Asheville (Nov. 23). She turned in career highs with 18 points and nine rebounds, missing her first collegiate double-double by one rebound. She ranks second on the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Looking For A Defensive Stand
While Upstate has the ability to put the ball in the hole averaging 69.3 points per game, the Spartans have had a bit of a problem keeping opponents off of the scoreboard. Opponents average 85 points per game. Upstate ranks second in the A-Sun in scoring and assists, but is last in scoring defense.
McMillan Closes In On Career Milestones
Senior post player and A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Chelsea McMillan is approaching two career milestones. She is just two points shy of reaching 800 in her career at Upstate, and stands just 21 rebounds shy of 600. She is in her third year at Upstate after playing her freshman season at Sante Fe Community College in Florida.
McMillan Cleans The Windows
The Preseason Player of the Year in the A-Sun, senior Chelsea McMillan has been a monster on the glass. Not even Windex can clean up like she can. She grabbed 20 rebounds in the season opener at Mississippi State (Nov. 12), turning in the fourth-best single-game performance in the history of the program as well as grabbing 14 boards at Marshall (Nov. 17). In three games this season, she is averaging 14 per game. Behind her work on the boards, Upstate averages a lofty 46.7 rebounds per outing to top the A-Sun.
Breaking Down Presbyterian
Presbyterian College enters Thursday's game against Upstate with a 2-3 record. The Blue Hose have alternated wins and losses, opening the season with a 59-52 loss at Virginia Tech, winning against Erskine (70-42), dropping a 43-38 decision at North Carolina Central, topping S.C. State on the road (51-38) and dropping a 73-60 decision at Furman.
PC has played four of its five games on the road and will play in the Templeton Center for the first time since Nov. 16, the 70-42 win over Erskine.
PC averages 54.2 points a game. While they don't put a lot of points on the board, the Blue Hose also don't give up many points. Opponents average just 51 points a game. They shoot 38 percent from the field and 27 percent from the three-point arc. They shoot 67 percent from the free throw line. PC averages 13.2 assists per game, but turns the ball over 20.8 times per outing. The Blue Hose hit the glass to the tune of 41.2 rebounds per game.
Mariah Pietrowski leads PC as the only Blue Hose to average in double figures. She scores at a 12.4 ppg clip. She also tops the club with 6.6 rebounds per game and a 62.5 shooting percentage.
Shonda Burnside and Kristen Stevens are solid, averaging 8.6 and 8.2 points per game, respectively. Dria David does a little of everything, averaging six points and 5.4 rebounds per game, while leading the Blue Hose with 10 steals on the year.