Spartans Ring in New Year with A-Sun Play
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (4-7) closes out its four-game homestand Wednesday, hosting ETSU (2-5) for a 5 p.m. contest to open Atlantic Sun Conference play.
This will be the 11th meeting between ETSU and Upstate. The Buccaneers lead the all-time series against the Spartans 7-3, including a 5-0 mark in Johnson City, Tenn., while Upstate holds a 3-2 advantage in Spartanburg.
ETSU is 2-5 on the season and is currently on a three-game losing streak. In the Buccaneers' last outing, they dropped an 85-44 decision at nationally ranked North Carolina Dec. 28. Against the Tar Heels, ETSU was led by a trio of scorers recording nine points each in Serena Clark, Brianna McQueen and Cara Bowling. Destiny Mitchell snagged a game-high 10 rebounds.
On the season, Mitchell paces ETSU with 13.8 points per game and 8.2 boards an outing. Tiana Burley is second on the team in both categories, averaging 9.5 points a game and 7.5 rebounds per contest, while McQueen is close behind with 9.3 points a game.
Upstate claimed the last meeting against ETSU with a 74-68 win Jan. 28, 2012 in Spartanburg. Five Spartans recorded double-figures in the contest with Tee'Ara Copney leading the way with her first career double-double of 17 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. Lauren McRoberts and Tyra Smith each tallied 16 points, while Hannah Ohl added 10 points. Shelby Hicks also recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
In the contest last season, the Buccaneers were led by Mitchell with double-double, putting up a game-high 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Brianna Bogard was second on the team, posting nine points.
SPARTAN QUICK HITS
• The Spartans are 2-3 inside the Hodge Center this season, improving to 4-2 in home-openers since joining the Division-I ranks with a 83-26 win over St. Andrews Nov. 19.
• Senior Tee'Ara Copney has posted double-figures in seven contests this season, including four-straight. She recorded a season-high 22 points in Upstate's 77-67 loss to High Point and then again in an 85-80 overtime loss to Furman. Copney has averaged 15-plus points per game over the last two seasons and currently is putting up 12.4 points an outing. The 22 points is a high for any Spartan this season.
• Senior Hannah Ohl recorded a season-best 17 points against HPU Dec. 16, connecting on 5-of-8 from long distance. The five three-pointers were a career-high for Ohl and marked the first time an Upstate player has made five treys in a game since March 17, 2011 against Elon, when Copney netted six. Ohl turned around and drained four three-pointers against Furman Dec. 29. She posted 15 points against the Paladins for her second-straight double-digit outing.
• In addition to Copney and Ohl, two other Upstate players scored double-figures against Furman, marking the second time this season four Spartans have reached double-digits. Freshman Brittany Starling posted 15 points, while senior Tyra Smith recorded a season-high 14 points.
• Even though Upstate has played three nationally ranked teams, the Spartans currently lead the Atlantic Sun in field goal percent defense with their opponents shooting .365 and are second in three-point field goal percent defense with a 27.0 mark. The Spartans also lead the A-Sun in defensive rebounds, snagging 27.3 defensive boards per game.
Fans can watch the action as its streamed live for free at ASun.TV or follow along on Livestats. Join in the conversation on Twitter at #UpstateWBB. Follow Upstate women's basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.