Upstate Set for Battle with Spartans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
NORFOLK, Va. – After facing Old Dominion earlier this week, the USC Upstate women's basketball team (0-2) remains in Norfolk, Va., to square off with Norfolk State (1-0) in a battle of the Spartans Thursday at 6 p.m.
The contest will be the fifth match-up between the two Spartan teams. NSU leads the all-time series 4-0. Last season, Upstate dropped a 94-81 decision at home.
Norfolk State is 1-0, opening the season with a 60-51 win over Penn. Junior Kashay Barnes led the Spartans against Penn, scoring 16 points.
Quineshia Leonard was second on the team in scoring, putting up a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Rachel Gordon snagged a team-high 15 boards for Norfolk State, while Recca Trice recorded a team-best four assists and three steals.
NSU returns 10 letterwinners from last season's squad, including four starters. The squad welcomes just four newcomers. The Spartans went 12-17 and 6-10 in the MEAC last year, finishing ninth in their league.
• The Spartans start the 2012-13 season with four-straight road games, including Nov. 15 contest at Norfolk State at 6 p.m. Upstate opened the season with two-straight losses as the Spartans dropped a pair of losses at Purdue Nov. 10 and at Old Dominion Nov. 13.
• Freshman center Brittany Starling sparkled for Upstate Tuesday night, pacing the team with 17 points. She was a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor, including a quick three-pointer in the first half as the shot clock was winding down.
• Senior guard Tee'Ara Copney led the Spartans against the Boilermakers Saturday, posting 16 points, while Starling pulled down a team-high five rebounds.
• Copney 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 Kentucky, West Virginia and 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).