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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (2-3) dominated St. Andrews (1-5) 83-26 Monday night inside the Hodge Center for the George Gaines Jr. Memorial Game.
The Spartans led wire-to-wire as they opened the contest with a 15-2 run. St. Andrews continued to struggle throughout the first half as Upstate ended up taking a 35-6 lead into the locker room at the break. In the second frame, the Knights were able to get off a few more shots than in the first period. SAU shot 5.0 percent in the first half, going 1-for-20, while posting a 21.2 field goal percentage during the second stanza, going 7-for-33.
Both teams put up more points in the second half than they did in the first. However, the Spartans still managed to outscore St. Andrews 48-20, claiming the 83-26 victory. This marks the highest point total for Upstate since, earning an 87-81 win over Radford Dec. 18, 2010 in the Hodge Center.
"It was a good night obviously to open-up at home with a win and to get a win for George (Gaines)," said Upstate Head Coach Tammy George. We're playing for George this year so it was good to get a good win and be back at home. We've been on the road for so much it was just really good to be back at home."
The Spartans were led by senior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) with a season-high 19 points, going 7-for-8 from the floor and 2-for-3 from three-point range, while being a perfect 3-for-3 from the line. Freshman Tweety Hawkins (Madison, Ga.) was second on the team, putting up 13 points. Copney and Hawkins each handed out three assists, while Copney swiped a game-high four steals and Hawkins grabbed two.
"It's good to see Tweety getting better," George said. "With her being a freshman point guard, it's good to see her against some of these teams that play man-to-man defense, being able to create her own shots. She's getting better. She's learning so it's good to see her progress."
All 13 players scored for Upstate on the night, as sophomore Maddie Herr (Arcadia, Ind.) recorded a career-high eight points and senior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) posted seven points to go along with three assists and two steals. Freshman Travonda Haddock (Pollocksville, N.C.), senior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) and junior KeArrow Jenkins (Lakeland, Ga.) all registered six points for the Spartan offense. Haddock also had six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Upstate outrebounded St. Andrews 53-34 as junior Valese McAllister (Twin City, Ga.) snagged a game-high eight boards for the Spartans. Sophomore Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) pulled down six rebounds for Upstate to go along with five points and a game-high two blocked shots, while McRoberts added five boards.
"We just played well as a team, made the extra pass," George said. "The bigs inside finished for the most part. (Brittany) Starling struggled a little bit, but the rest of them did a really good job finishing."
The Knights were led by Danielle Childress with six points, while Jazmyne Harvey and Ja'Quaia Caracter each recorded four points. Caracter gathered a team-high eight rebounds on the night. Delisa Mercedes Smith handed out a team-high three assists for the Knights, while also collecting three boards and two steals.
The Spartans return to action Wednesday, hosting George Washington for a 5:30 p.m. nonconference contest. Follow Upstate women's basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.