Spartans Ready for Duel with Hatters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, email@example.com
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After dropping a pair of contests on the road, the USC Upstate women's basketball team (5-9, 1-2 A-Sun) returns to the Hodge Center Saturday to take on Atlantic Sun Conference leader Stetson (11-4, 4-0 A-Sun) for a 2:03 p.m. tip-off on ESPN3.
This will be the 11th meeting between Upstate and A-Sun opponent Stetson. The Hatters hold a 6-4 record in the all-time series. However, the Spartans claim the advantage inside the Hodge Center, owning a 3-1 record at home against SU.
The Hatters top the league standings with an 11-4 overall record and a 4-0 mark in A-Sun play. Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast are the only teams still undefeated in conference action. Three of SU's four losses this year have come on the road as the team posts a 3-3 away record, while Upstate is 3-3 at home this season. The Hatters are currently enjoying a seven-game winning-streak with their last loss coming Dec. 8 at Charlotte with a 81-73 decision.
On the season, Stetson is led by the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week Victoria McGowan with 18.1 points per game to top all scorers in the conference. She also paces the Hatters in rebounding, pulling down 6.8 boards a contest. Shanasa Sanders is second on the team in both categories, averaging 12.1 points and 6.3 boards an outing. McGowan has handed out a team-best 60 assists on the year to average 4.3 per game to rank third in the league.
In the Hatters' last outing, they picked-up a 73-56 victory against Jacksonville Jan. 7 at home in DeLand, Fla. Stetson had two players reach double-figures as McGowan led the way with 27 points, while Cherisse Burris recorded 10 points. Sasha Sims helped the Hatters, tallying nine points and collecting a team-high seven rebounds. McGowan gathered six boards and dished out a game-high six assists.
The last time Upstate and Lipscomb faced off, the Hatters claimed a 72-59 win in the opening round of the A-Sun tournament Feb. 29, 2012 at Mercer. In the contest, Sims registered 18 points for SU, while McGowan and Burris added 15 and 12, respectively. Burris completed the double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds. The Spartans were led by Hannah Ohl with 18 points, while Tee'Ara Copney posted 10.
SPARTAN QUICK HITS
• Upstate will put its 3-1 home record against Stetson to the test Saturday as the teams square off inside the Hodge Center for a 2:03 p.m. tip-off to air on ESPN3. The Spartans posted an 81-68 victory against the Hatters last season in Spartanburg Feb. 25, 2012.
• The Spartans improved to 3-3 inside the Hodge Center this season after downing ETSU 90-79 to open A-Sun play Jan. 2.
• Copney broke two all-time career records at Lipscomb Monday, tallying 175 made career three-pointers and 248 career steals, while posting a season-high 23 points in route to her seventh-straight double-figure scoring game.
• Freshman Tweety Hawkins posted back-to-back double-digit outings over a pair of road losses, including a season-high 15 points at Lipscomb Jan. 7.
• Junior Valese McAllister recorded 12 points against the Northern Kentucky Jan. 5, marking her first double-digit point outing this season.
• Upstate closed out a four-game homestand with a 90-79 victory over ETSU Jan. 2 to open A-Sun play. The contest against the Buccaneers was the first time all season five Spartans have scored in double-digits.
• Ohl posted a career-high 19 points against ETSU. Ohl posted a career-high five made treys against High Point Dec. 16 and then again against ETSU Jan. 2, while draining four three-balls against Furman Dec. 29.
• Freshman Brittany Starling turned in her first career double-double against ETSU, registering 10 points and a season-high 10 rebounds.
• Upstate ranks second in the Atlantic Sun in defensive rebounds, snagging 27.2 defensive boards per game. The Spartans are also second in the conference in field goal percent defense with their opponents shooting 37.2 percent.
• The Spartans are second in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 41.2 percent from the floor, while ranking 84th in the NCAA national statistical rankings.
Fans can watch the action as its streamed live on ESPN3.com or follow along on Live Stats. Join in the conversation on Twitter at #UpstateWBB. Follow Upstate women's basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.