FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team travels to No. 21/18 Purdue to open the 2012-13 campaign Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Boilermakers reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, falling to South Carolina. Purdue finished the season ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Saturday's game will be the season-opener for both Purdue and Upstate. This will be the first meeting between the two squads. This will be only the second time Upstate has taken on a Big Ten Conference school. The Spartans dropped an 87-55 decision at Ohio State Dec. 14, 2010.
The Boilermakers enter the contest ranked in both of the major preseason women's basketball polls. They rank No. 21 in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll released Oct. 27 and No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll released Oct. 30.
Purdue posted a 25-9 overall record in 2011-12 and an 11-5 mark in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers finished the regular season tied for second-place in the conference team standings.
The Boilermakers return four starters from last year's team and eight reserves. Among those returning, include junior guard Courtney Moses. Moses was named to the 2012-13 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Purdue was ranked third in the Preseason Big Ten Coaches Poll.
Moses was second on the team last year, averaging 10.8 points per game. She led the team at the line, boasting a .907 free throw percentage. Purdue also returns KK Houser, who led the team last year in assists, handing out 3.7 per game, while scoring 9.9 points a contest. After missing last season due to a torn ACL, Drey Mingo returns to action for the Boilermakers this season. In 2010-11, Mingo averaged 12.0 points per outing and 5.8 rebounds per game. Purdue returns its leading rebounder from the 2011-12 season in Sam Ostarello. Ostarello snagged 8.4 boards a game and posted 7.9 points per contest.
• The Spartans open the 2012-13 season with four-straight road games, including a Nov. 10 contest at Purdue starting at 7 p.m. This will be the season-opener for both the Spartans and the Boilermakers.
• Upstate is 2-3 in season-openers since becoming a Division I member in 2007. The team's last season-opening win came against North Greenville Nov. 13, 2009 in Spartanburg in a 78-47 fashion.
• Senior guard Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) was named to the 2012-13 Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team, after averaging 15.7 points per game last season and ranking third in the A-Sun in scoring average. She was an All-Conference First Team selection at the end of the 2011-12 season.
• In the 2012-13 A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll, Upstate was picked seventh, tallying 35 points alongside league newcomer Northern Kentucky, who also garnered 35 points. The Spartans also claimed seventh in the A-Sun Preseason Media Poll, collecting 93 points.
• Upstate has a difficult nonconference slate this season with four NCAA Tournament teams from last year on the docket, including three teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Poll in No. 6/7 Kentucky, No. 17/22 West Virginia and No. 21/18 Purdue.
• The Spartans return six players from last year's squad, including redshirt freshman Maddie Herr and welcome seven newcomers. Upstate welcomes four freshmen (Brittany Clency, Travonda Haddock, Tweety Hawkins and Brittany Starling) and a trio of junior college transfers (Shanice Cooper, KeArrow Jenkins and Valese McAllister).
Fans can listen along as the Spartans face Purdue Saturday as the contest will be broadcast via online radio here. Follow Upstate basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.