Copney, George Return To Asheville As Spartans Battle UNCA
Spartanburg, S.C. - For the second-straight game, a homecoming will be the theme of the night as USC Upstate hits the road for the third-straight game to start the 2010-11 season when it makes the trip up Interstate 26 and up the Mountain to take on UNC Asheville Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Justice Center. Sophomore Tee'Ara Copney will make her return to her hometown for the first time after a standout prep career at T.C. Roberson HS, while head coach Tammy George returns to the program where she served as an assistant coach prior to taking the head job at Brevard. The game will be the seventh in the series with UNCA holding a 5-1 advantage. Upstate, though, claimed the win in the last meeting, a 78-60 victory last year in Spartanburg.
Upstate enters the game with a 1-1 record after claiming a 79-73 at Conference USA's Marshall last Wednesday. The Spartans opened the season with a loss at Mississippi State, but came back to record the impressive six-point victory. UNC Asheville enters the game with a 2-1 record after getting a buzzer-beater win at Campbell, a member of the A-Sun, on Saturday. The Bulldogs claimed a 78-75 win over the Camels. Campbell opened the season with a win over Montreat before losing at home to Western Carolina.
Fans can follow the action live online in a variety of ways. Live audio for free will be available through the official Upstate Athletics website at www.upstatespartans.com. Live statistical updates are available for free via the official UNC Asheville Athletics website at www.uncabulldogs.com, while live video will also be available on UNCA's site for a fee.
Looking Back At Marshall
Hurricane, W.Va., native Kendra Wallace had a solid homecoming, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists and three other Spartans finished in double figures as Upstate claimed its first win of the season, taking a 79-73 victory at Marshall, a member of Conference USA, last Wednesday. Tee'Ara Copney led all scorers with 28 points, one off her career high, and Sharniece Wadelington turned in career highs with 18 points and eight rebounds. Madisen Webb added 11 for her second-straight double figure game to start her collegiate career.
Upstate Goes Career At Marshall
Not only did Upstate pick up its first win of the season with its 79-73 victory at Marshall last Wednesday, several Spartans achieved career highs on the night. Sharniece Wadelington poured it on offensively, scoring a career-high 18 points while also grabbing a career-best eight rebounds. Tee'Ara Copney grabbed a career-high 12 free throws and eight boards as well. Madisen Webb and Kim Roach also posted career highs in rebounds with six and five, respectively.
Playing in front of nearly 100 family and friends, Hurricane, W.Va., native Kendra Wallace made a successful return home in helping lead Upstate to a 79-73 win at Marshall last Wednesday. She finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in a standout performance. Typically an avidly faithful Marshall crowd was nearly half pro-Upstate with the influence of the Wallace contingent.
Wadelington Breaks Out
In what was arguably the best game of her career, senior Sharniece Wadelington had a breakout performance at Marshall last week. After going scoreless in the season opener at Mississippi State (Nov. 12), she went off for a career-high 18 points to lead the Spartans over the Thundering Herd. She also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
Webb Off To Great Start
Upstate freshman Madisen Webb has certainly made an immediate splash for the Spartans. She has begun her career with back-to-back double figure scoring games. She posted 12 points and five rebounds in her college debut at Mississippi State (Nov. 12) before racking up 11 points and six boards at Marshall last week. Averaging 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, she is simply a solid addition to the program.
Cutting Down On The Turnovers
After posting 24 turnovers which led to 34 points for the Lady Bulldogs at Mississippi State (Nov. 12), Upstate cut down on its miscues the second time out. The Spartans committed just 14 turnovers last week in the win over Marshall, turning the ball over just five times in the second half.
McMillan Cleans The Windows
The Preseason Player of the Year in the A-Sun, senior Chelsea McMillan has been a monster on the glass. Not even Windex can clean up like she can. She grabbed 20 rebounds in the season opener at Mississippi State (Nov. 12), turning in the fourth-best single-game performance in the history of the program as well as grabbing 14 boards at Marshall. In two games this season, she is averaging 17 per game. Behind her work on the boards, Upstate averages a lofty 46.5 rebounds per outing.
McMillan Strong In Season Debut
Senior post player Chelsea McMillan certainly lived up to her billing as the A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year in the season opener at Mississippi State last Friday. She was arguably the most dominant player on the court, finishing with 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds against the SEC program that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Her 20-rebound performance stands as the fourth-best in school history and the top effort during Upstate's Division I era.
Scouting UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville enters Tuesday night's game against Upstate with a 2-1 record. The Bulldogs claimed a 78-75 victory at Campbell the last time out. They opened the season with a dominating 78-65 victory over Montreat on Nov. 12 before falling at home against Western Carolina, 78-59.
UNCA has been able to put points on the board, averaging 71.7 points per outing. However, the Bulldogs also let opponents put up points at a 72.7 ppg clip. They shoot 41 percent from the field, 27 percent from the three-point arc and 65 percent from the free throw line in three games this season. Opponents are hitting nearly 28 percent of their three-point attempts on the year.
Scoring nearly 72 points a game, UNCA has some solid offensive players. Two players, Lindsey Thompson and Kendall Shepard, have been dynamic scorers. Thompson leads the team at 19.3 ppg, while Shepard is right behind at 19.0 ppg. Thompson is a threat from the three-point arc, hitting 8-of-24 on the year. She hits 41 percent of her shots from the field overall and is strong at the line, hitting 18-of-20 on the year. Shepard shoots 47 percent from the floor and has been to the line 18 times, hitting 13 free throws. She tops the Bulldogs with 12 assists on the year.
In addition to Thompson and Shepard, Kelli Riles is solid. She leads the team in rebounding at 12.0 rpg, while averaging 9.7 ppg. Grace Blaylock averages 8.7 points, while Breaira Barksdale averages 8.3 points per contest. After the top five, though, no other UNCA player averages more than 3.5 points per game.