Copney Posts 34 Points as Spartan Women Muzzle Bulldogs, 73-66
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (1-6) picked up its first win of the 2011-12 campaign as junior guard Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) put on a show in her hometown tonight, recording a career-high 34 points and beating UNC Asheville (2-4) 73-66 at Kimmel Arena.
Copney's 34 points passed her previous career-high of 29, which she recorded as a freshman at North Florida Jan. 21, 2010.
"It was a great team effort for us tonight," said Copney. "We played a full 40 minutes and never gave up. My teammates did a great job screening for me and I wouldn't have been able to score like I did tonight without them. We also played really good defense all around and I'm proud of how my teammates played tonight."
Copney also posted six rebounds, swiped five steals and dished out two assists tonight. The junior was supported by freshman Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) with 10 points.
The Bulldogs took a 27-26 lead into the locker room at the half, but couldn't overcome the Spartans outscoring them 47-39 in the second frame. Upstate shot 27.0 percent from the floor in the first period, but recovered in the second half to shoot 40.5 percent for 33.8 percent overall in the game.
The Spartans were led in rebounding tonight by freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Gainesville, Fla.) with nine rebounds, while junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) added eight points, seven boards and a game-high four blocks. Junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) handed out a team-high six assists and snagged six steals, while putting up seven points.
"It was a great win for us tonight," said Upstate head coach Tammy George. "It was our best complete game all season. It feels good to get a win and I'm proud of the team. Everyone played hard throughout the entire game."
The contest was close all throughout as the lead changed nine times and things got knotted up eight times. The largest lead the game saw was seven points. UNC Asheville held a seven point-lead with 9:38 on the clock in the first half, while Upstate boasted a seven-point lead with 9:10 to play in the second stanza.
The Bulldogs were led by a double-double from Kelli Riles with 13 points and 28 rebounds, including 23 defensive boards. Riles helped UNC Asheville outrebound Upstate 54-42. Leah Wormack registered a team-high 21 points on the night for UNCA, while Gentry Manley contributed 11 points and seven boards.
UNC Asheville holds a 6-2 advantage against the Spartans in the all-time series, including a 4-1 mark in Asheville, N.C. In the teams' last meeting, the Bulldogs beat Upstate 95-76 in Asheville, N.C., Nov. 23, 2010.