Upstate Battles Chanticleers For First Time In 25 Years
Spartanburg, S.C. - After taking some time off for Christmas break, USC Upstate will carry a two-game winning streak into action Thursday night when the Spartans take on Coastal Carolina for the first time in 25 years at 7:00 p.m. in the Hodge Center. Upstate owns a 5-1 lead in the all-time series, though the teams last met on Dec. 7, 1985 in Conway, an 86-72 victory for the Spartans (then-USC Spartanburg Lady Rifles).
Upstate enters the game with a 5-4 overall record, having won its last two games and four of its last six. The Spartans claimed an impressive 85-71 victory over A-Sun rival Campbell on Dec. 16 and an 87-81 win over Radford on Dec. 18. The Spartans will hit the court for the first time in 12 days when they play host to the Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers enter the game with a 5-6 overall record, having last played Butler on Dec. 19, a 71-63 loss. They have lost two in a row and four of their last five contests.
Fans can follow the action live online in a variety of ways. Live audio and live statistical updates will be available for free through the official Upstate Athletics website at www.upstatespartans.com. Live video will also be available for a fee on the website on ASun.TV
Looking Back At Radford
Upstate made 13 free throws in the final 2:39 of the game and played the final 1:47 of regulation without the services of starters Chelsea McMillan (fouls), Lauren McRoberts (fouls) and Tee'Ara Copney (injury) to take an 87-81 victory over Radford on Dec. 18 in the Hodge Center. The win propelled the Spartans to a 3-0 start in the newly renovated Hodge Center. Copney, the Spartans' starting point guard, left the game with a little over nine minutes to play with a lower leg injury, while Roberts and McMillan fouled out late in the contest. The Spartans, though, managed to find a way to win with the three starters on the bench. McMillan finished the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds for her third double-double of the season, while Copney tallied 22 points and eight assists. Kendra Wallace added 20 points for the Spartans.
Scouting Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina enters Thursday's game with a 5-6 overall record and hits the court for the first time since a 71-63 loss to Butler on Dec. 19. The loss was the second in a row and the fourth in five games for the Chanticleers.
Coastal began the season by winning four of its first six games, opening with back-to-back wins over Southern Virginia (Nov. 12) and at College of Charleston (Nov. 16). A pair of road losses followed at North Carolina (Nov. 19) and Elon (Nov. 21) before the Chanticleers rattled off back-to-back wins at home against Campbell (Nov. 23) and Coker (Nov. 28). In the last five games, the Canticleers have dropped games to Central Michigan (Dec. 3), Valparaiso (Dec. 4), UNC Wilmington (Dec. 15) and Butler (Dec. 19). The only win during the five-game span was an 86-33 victory over Converse (Dec. 12).
Coastal averages 57.2 points per game and allows opponents only 59 points per contest. The Chanticleers shoot nearly 35 percent from the field, 27 percent from the three-point arc and 64 percent from the free throw line. Opponents shoot nearly 37 percent from the field and 30 percent from the arc.
Sydnei Moss is the only Coastal player to average in double figures at 11.1 points per game. She also tops the Chanticleers with 8.4 rebounds per outing, 21 assists and 18 steals. Olivia Irick averages 9.7 points per game. No other Chanticleer averages six points or more with 10 players averaging double figures in minutes played per contest.
McMillan Set To Surpass 900 Career Points
Senior post player Chelsea McMillan has already reached the 800 career point plateau this season and is set to reach 900 before the end of December. She currently has 898 points in her Upstate career, a mark achieved in two years and nine games. Once she surpasses the 900-point plateau, she will set he sights on becoming the 13th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 career points. McMillan began her career at Sante Fe Community College before transferring to Upstate after her freshman season. Her 13.4 ppg scoring average ranks sixth all-time at Upstate.
Copney Also Notches Milestone Marks
Last year's A-Sun Freshman of the Year, sophomore Tee'Ara Copney has already made her mark on the program and continues to climb the ladder in reaching a few statistical milestones. In just her second year she has already surpassed 400 career points and is just 32 points shy of reaching 500 in her career. She has already reached 100 rebounds and is just seven steals shy of reaching the century mark.
Wallace Sets Sights On Career Three-Point Mark
Junior sharpshooter Kendra Wallace is not only closing in on second place on Upstate's all-time three-point record, she is eyeing the top spot. She currently has 144 career three-pointers, ranking third all-time. She is just nine treys away from second place on the all-time list, Paula Blackwell (1992-94) at 153. The top spot is owned by Stephanie Feyes (2001-05). The Columbus, Ohio, native made 169 in her four-year career at Upstate. Wallace is just 25 away from the all-time mark. She ranks second all-time with 425 three-point attempts and sixth all-time with a 33.9 three-point field goal percentage.
Copney First Spartan To Dish Out 10 Assists In Division I Era
When Tee'Ara Copney dished out 10 assists at Indiana State on Dec. 12, she not only set a career high, she also did something that no other Spartan has done in almost three years. No Spartan has dished out 10 or more assists since Courtney Bradley tallied 11 assists against North Georgia on Jan. 7, 2007. The 10 assists are the most in a single-game in the Division I era.
Spartans Sit Atop A-Sun Standings
For the first time in program history, the Spartans have started the A-Sun schedule with a 2-0 record and sits atop the A-Sun standings tied for first with Florida Gulf Coast and Lipscomb. Upstate will resume conference play on Jan. 3 at Kennesaw State.
Upstate Perfect In "New" Hodge Center
While only playing three games at home this season, Upstate is perfect in the newly renovated Hodge Center. Following the completion of the $4 million renovation made possible by the generous gift by Mrs. Dodie Anderson, the Spartans have claimed wins over ETSU, Campbell and Radford in its first three home games of the season. Combined with the men's record of 2-1, Upstate's basketball teams are 5-1 at home this season.
McMillan Tops 600 Career Rebounds
With eight rebounds at Indiana State (Dec. 12), senior Chelsea McMillan topped the 600 career rebound plateau at Upstate. She now has 633 career rebounds in three years in the program.
Spartans Shine In Hodge Center Re-Opener
After the completion of the $4 million renovation to the Hodge Center and playing its first four games on the road, Upstate made the most of its home opener and its first in the newly renovated facility by taking a 78-70 victory over East Tennessee State on Dec. 4.
Nyobe Cleared To Play
After having knee surgery in September, sophomore forward Christine Nyobe has completed her rehabilitation and has been cleared to play. Nyobe played in 26 games as a reserve for the Spartans. She averaged 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game for Upstate a year ago and improved tremendously from the beginning of the season to the end. She is expected to provide needed depth on the frontline as the Spartans begin the brunt of the A-Sun schedule.
Upstate Among A-Sun's Statistical Leaders
As a team, Upstate tops the A-Sun with 42.2 rebounds per game, 4.0 blocked shots per outing and 10.1 steals per game. The Spartans also rank second in scoring at 72.8 ppg and 16.0 assists per outing. Individually, Chelsea McMillan tops all league players with 10.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots per game. Tee'Ara Copney leads all conference players with 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals per contest.