Spartan Women Set for Hodge Center Dolphin Fishin’ Double Feature
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (7-17, 6-7 A-Sun) takes on Atlantic Sun Conference foe Jacksonville (8-17, 6-4 A-Sun) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in the Hodge Center for homecoming, following the men's contest at 2 p.m.
Jacksonville enters Saturday's contest with an 8-17 record this season, including a 6-8 mark in A-Sun play. The Dolphins are 2-12 on the road this season.
In the Dolphins' last outing, they picked up an 88-82 win at ETSU Feb. 9. Jacksonville was led by five double-digit scorers, including a pair with double-doubles. Crystal Bell paced the team with a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Jade Cargil recorded 17 points and 13 boards. Tracie Sneed tallied 15 points and a team-high four steals. Ronisha Mitchell and Abril Peeples added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
On the season, JU is led by Bell, averaging 13.3 points per game. Sneed is second on the squad with 9.9 points a game, while Peeples and Jade Cargill averages 9.7 and 9.6 points a contest. Cargill leads the Dolphins in rebounds, snagging 8.1 boards a game. Bell is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per game.
Earlier this season, Upstate dropped an 80-72 decision at Jacksonville Jan. 12. The Spartans were led by four players scoring double-figures as junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) led the way with 14 points, while freshman Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) tallied a career-high 13 points. Junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) and sophomore Erin Pinkett (Cambridge, Md.) had 12 and 10 points, respectively.
In the teams' last meeting, the Dolphins were led by a quintet of double-digit scorers. Sneed led the squad with a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Cargill posted a double-double of 15 points and 13 boards. Peeples helped with 13 points, while Bell and Maggie Wilson each contributed 12 points.
The overall series between JU and Upstate is tied at 4-4, including a 2-2 mark in Spartanburg, S.C. The Spartans haven't lost at home to the Dolphins since Jan. 5, 2009, when they dropped a 78-58 decision. Last season, Upstate beat Jacksonville 72-68 Feb. 12, 2011 in the Hodge Center.
The Spartans have been strong from the free throw line all season, shooting 78.0 percent. Upstate ranks ninth in the nation in free throw percentage and leads the conference. Copney leads the squad at the line, shooting 87.8 percent (79-for-90). She is second in the A-Sun in the category and is 15th in the NCAA statistical rankings. McRoberts technically has the best overall percentage, but hasn't had enough trips to the line to rank in the league or NCAA statistics. She boasts an 88.6 percent at the charity stripe, going 31-for-35 on the season.
On the season, Upstate is led by Copney with 15.8 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Freshman Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) and Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) are each averaging 7.2 per contest. Freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) leads the squad with 7.0 boards per contest, while McRoberts is second on the team in rebounds, averaging 5.4 per game.