Upstate Women’s Basketball Falls to Jacksonville, 74-64
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (7-18, 6-8 A-Sun) dropped a 74-64 decision to Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Jacksonville (8-17, 7-8 A-Sun) today in the Hodge Center as the Spartans celebrated homecoming.
The Spartans kept it close for the majority of the contest and the first 20 minutes were no different as the Dolphins took a 35-33 lead into the locker room at the half. Jacksonville extended its lead at the start of the second frame, taking an eight-point (47-39) advantage within the first four minutes of the period. Upstate countered with a 9-2 run, pulling within one point (49-48) at the 12:02 mark.
The teams exchanged points for a while, when the Spartans found themselves down by three (65-62) with two minutes to play. That was the closest Upstate would get for the remainder of the game as JU put away two more baskets and five free throws, putting the final score at 74-64. The contest saw 10 lead changes and the score knotted up seven times.
Upstate was led by a trio of scorers reaching double-figures as freshman Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) led the way with a career-high 14 points. She has posted 13 points in three different games this season. Hicks was perfect from the free throw line, going 4-for-4.
Freshman Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) and junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) added 10 points each for the Spartans. Robinson dished out three assists, while junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) also gave out three assists to go along with seven points.
McRoberts and freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) led Upstate in rebounds, grabbing seven boards apiece. Zaveckaite also tallied eight points, while junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) had seven points and six rebounds. Zaveckaite went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Kim Roach (Columbia, S.C.) had a 4-for-6 day at the line, recording four points and five boards for Upstate.
Copney handed out a game-high four assists for the Spartans, while swiping five steals. Hicks was also a defensive force inside for Upstate, registering a career-high three blocks and a personal-best three steals.
Jacksonville was led by a quartet of players scoring double-digits as Jade Cargill tallied a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Abril Peeples was second on the squad with 14 points, while Maggie Wilson and Crystal Bell each recorded 13 points. Wilson nearly had a double-double as she snagged nine boards for the Dolphins. Bell led JU defensively with four steals and three blocked shots.
The Spartans shot 36.1 percent from the floor and 10.0 percent from behind the arc. The Dolphins were 36.4 percent from the floor and 25.0 percent from long distance. Upstate was 70.4 percent from the line, compared to JU's 76.7 percent. The Dolphins won the battle of the boards 47-41, while also taking the contest of second chances 17-12. Upstate beat Jacksonville in points off of turnovers 18-12. The Spartan bench outscored the Dolphin bench 25-20.