Wallace Returns Home, Helps Spartans Over Marshall
Huntington, W.Va. – Kendra Wallace turned in one of the top all-around performances of her career playing in front of her hometown fans and USC Upstate got additional standout performances from Tee'Ara Copney and Sharniece Wadelington as the Spartans took a 79-73 victory over Conference USA's Marshall Wednesday night in the Cam Henderson Center.
Upstate picked up its first win of the season and improved to 1-1 on the year. Marshall fell to 1-2, suffering the loss in its home opener.
Wallace, from nearby Hurricane, W.Va., finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in front of nearly 100 family and friends.
"It might have been Kendra's best game," said Upstate head coach Tammy George. "She did a little of everything and it was good to see her play that well in front of her hometown fans."
Upstate placed four players in double figures on the night. In addition to Wallace's 14, Copney (Asheville, N.C.) went off, finishing with 28 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. She missed matching her career high by a point. Wadelington (Greenville, S.C.) did top her career highs in points and rebounds, finishing with 18 points and eight boards. Freshman Madisen Webb (Georgetown, Ky.) tallied 11 points and six rebounds.
"We got contributions from a lot of different people," added George. "We didn't get that at Mississippi State, so that was good to see tonight. I thought we took care of the ball better tonight, especially down the stretch when we needed to. It is really good getting a win."
The teams battled back and forth throughout the game until Upstate made a final push with about 10 minutes to play in the game to take the win. There were eight ties and 14 lead changes in the contest.
After Upstate opened an eight-point lead with 14:42 to play in the game, Marshall answered by fighting back to tie the game, 54-54, for the eighth and final time of the contest.
Upstate though, made a push and put the game out of reach, basically. After Marshall opened a 56-54 lead on a bucket by Tynikki Crook, Upstate used a 10-0 run to open another eight-point advantage, 64-56, with 8:07 remaining. The Thundering Herd would only get as close as four points the rest of the way as the Spartans took the win.
After Marshall cut it to four, Upstate used a 5-1 spurt to open another one of its eight eight-point leads in the game with 5:09 to play. The Spartans maintained their advantage until Lateidra Elliott sank a three-pointer to cut the lead to five with 43 seconds to play. Upstate made its free throws in the final minute of play to preserve the win.
Upstate and Marshall battled throughout the first half until Upstate made a late run to take an eight-point lead with 1:35 to play. However, Marshall battled back to get within three at the half, 37-34.
Upstate finished the game shooting 39 percent from the floor, hitting 25-of-64 shots. The Spartans were strong from the three-point arc, connecting on 9-of-20 (45.0%) shots. They also got to the free throw line, converting 20-of-29 in the game. The Spartans also out-rebounded Marshall, 48-43.
Despite finishing with just five points in the game, Upstate senior post standout Chelsea McMillan (East Gadsden, Fla.) was strong all over the court. She finished with 14 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. She now has 34 rebounds in two games this season.
Marshall finished the game shooting 38 percent from the floor, hitting 28-of-73 shots. The Thundering Herd was 6-for-20 from the arc (30.0%) and made 11-of-19 from the charity stripe. Crook led the way for the Herd, finishing with 19 points before fouling out. Elliott finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Adrian Randall added 14 points in the loss, while Tessa Johnson finished with 10.