Spartans Square off with Nationally Ranked West Virginia

Spartans Square off with Nationally Ranked West Virginia

Contact: Katie Parker,

Game Notes
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After facing Old Dominion and Norfolk State earlier this week, the USC Upstate women's basketball team (1-2) caps off a four-game road swing Saturday, taking on No. 14/19 West Virginia (2-0) at 1 p.m.


This will be the first meeting between West Virginia and Upstate. The Mountaineers are currently ranked No. 14 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

WVU is 2-0 so far this season, picking up a 76-47 win over UNC Wilmington Nov. 9 in West Virginia's home-opener. The Mountaineers then earned a 60-57 victory on the road at Boston University Nov. 12.

After their first two games this season, Ayana Dunning is leading the Mountaineers, averaging a double-double of 13.5 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per contest. Christal Caldwell is second on the team with 11.5 points a game.

In WVU's last outing, Dunning paced the team with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Boston. Averee Fields and Crystal Leary were second on the team with 11 points each.

West Virginia returns 10 players from the 2011-12 squad, including four starters. Last year, the Mountaineers made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost Final Four bound Stanford. WVU has made the NCAA tourney for three-straight seasons.


• The Spartans close-out their four-game road swing, taking on No. 14/19 West Virginia Saturday at 1 p.m. Upstate opened the season with two-straight losses as the Spartans dropped contests at Purdue Nov. 10 and at Old Dominion Nov. 13.

• Upstate picked-up its first win of the season at Norfolk State Thursday with a 71-64 come-from-behind overtime win.

• Freshman center Brittany Starling sparkled for Upstate Tuesday night at Old Dominion, 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. The rookie posted double-figures against Thursday at Norfolk state, recording 10 points.

• Senior guard Tee'Ara Copney led the Spartans against the Boilermakers Nov. 10, posting 16 points, while Starling pulled down a team-high five rebounds. Copney also led Upstate against NSU Thursday with another 16 points.

• Freshman Tweety Hawkins was second on the team against NSU, putting up 14 points.

• 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.

• 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).

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