Spartans Close Out January With Battle Against Kennesaw State
Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate returns to the court Monday night at 7:00 against longtime rival Kennesaw State in the Hodge Center. The game will be the 25th in the series between the schools, a series that dates back to the 1991-92 season when both schools were members of NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference. The Owls own an 18-6 lead in the all-time series, though Upstate has claimed wins in three of the last four meetings.
Upstate enters the game with an 11-9 overall record and a 7-4 mark in the A-Sun. The Spartans are in a tie for third in the A-Sun standings after their 74-63 win over Mercer Saturday evening. Kennesaw State enters the game with a 6-13 overall record and a 3-8 mark in the A-Sun after its 85-61 loss at ETSU on Saturday. Upstate claimed a 75-67 win against the Owls in the first meeting on Jan. 3 in Kennesaw, Ga.
Fans can follow the action live online in a variety of ways. Live audio and live stats 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 web at ASun.TV.
Looking Back at Mercer
Kyana Jacobs nailed three important three-pointers and Upstate placed three players in double figures en route to a 74-63 victory over Mercer Saturday evening in the Hodge Center. The win not only kept the Spartans in the hunt at the top of the standings, it also registered their first season sweep in the A-Sun this year. Jacobs entered the game having not made a three-pointer in eight attempts on the season. She hit three in the second half. The first cut a six-point Mercer lead in half, the second put Upstate ahead by two, and the third gave the Spartans a seven-point advantage late in the game. She finished with 11 points, four assists and three steals to provide a spark for Upstate. Chelsea McMillan registered her 10th double-double of the season with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Tee'Ara Copney narrowly missed her first career double-double, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Scouting Kennesaw State
Kennesaw State enters Monday's game at Upstate with a 6-13 overall record and a 3-8 mark in the A-Sun. The Owls dropped an 85-61 decision at ETSU on Saturday, snapping a three-game winning streak.
Kennesaw State had started the A-Sun schedule with an 0-7 record, losing to Belmont (away), Lipscomb (away), Upstate (home), ETSU (home), Campbell (away), Florida Gulf Coast (away) and Stetson (away). However, the Owls began to right the ship and picked up three straight wins over Jacksonville (home), North Florida (home) and Mercer (home) prior to the loss at ETSU on Saturday.
Kennesaw State averages 59 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 69 points per contest. In A-Sun play, the Owls score a shade under 61 points per game, while allowing a shade under 68 points an outing.
Kennesaw State shoots 36 percent from the field, 31 percent from the three-point arc and 65 percent from the free throw line. Opponents shoot 42 percent from the field and 33 percent from the arc.
Angie Smith is one of two Owls to average in double figures. She leads the team with 14.2 points per game, with that figure rising slightly to 14.5 ppg during league play. She also tops the club with 56 assists and 53 steals on the year. Sametria Gideon ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg and tops the club with 9.6 rebounds per outing, narrowly missing averaging a double-double. She also tops the Owls with 24 blocked shots.
Roach Hits the Offensive Glass
Freshman Kim Roach has proven to be a solid player for the Spartans in her first season in the program. She ranks sixth in scoring at a little more than six points per game. She has also proven to be strong on the offensive glass for the Spartans. She has 51 total rebounds on the year with 32 coming on the offensive glass. That figure represents 62 percent of her rebounds for the season.
The Countdown Is on for Wallace
Junior sharpshooter Kendra Wallace is closing in on Upstate's all-time three-point record, now just six away from the all-time mark. Stephanie Feyes (2001-05) currently holds the all-time record with 169 treys in her four-year career. Wallace, a junior, now has 163 in her time at Upstate and needs just six to reach the top of the list.
Upstate Basketball Adds Another Member to Athletics Hall of Fame
Prior to the start of the game against Mercer (Jan. 29), Upstate held its annual Athletics Hall of Fame banquet and the women's basketball program contributed to the festivities. Yakeeshia Ross, who wore the Green, White and Black from 2002-06, was enshrined in her first year of eligibility. The program's all-time leader in rebounds (991) and blocked shots (202), she also ranks sixth all-time in scoring at 1,463 points.
Copney Named A-Sun Player of the Week
Tee'Ara Copney had a strong week in leading Upstate to a 3-0 record last week and has been named the A-Sun Player of the Week (Jan. 25). Copney reached double figures in all three games, averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game. She scored 14 points in the win over Longwood (Jan. 19), 23 points in the win over Belmont (Jan. 22) and 19 in the win over Lipscomb (Jan. 24). Copney is the fourth different Spartan to receive weekly honors from the league since 2007 and the first this season.
Freds Makes the Most of Her Opportunity
Although Upstate dropped a 64-42 decision at ETSU (Jan. 26), freshman Kelci Freds took advantage of her time on the court and established a new career high in scoring. She connected on three field goals, including a pair of three-pointers, to finish with nine points. Her old career high came with six points in the win over Longwood (Jan. 19).
Wallace Nearing 800 Career Points
Though the countdown is on in Kendra Wallace's chase of the all-time three-point record at Upstate, she is also nearing another milestone. She needs just seven more points to reach 800 in her career.
McMillan Tops 1,000 Career Points
Senior post player Chelsea McMillan has reached career scoring milestones of 800 and 900 points this season. With a career-high 34 points at North Florida (Jan. 15), she not only reached 1,000 points, she surpassed it. She started her collegiate career at Santa Fe Community College before transferring to Upstate as a sophomore. She is the 13th person in the history of the program to achieve the mark.
Copney Tops 600 Career Points
Sophomore Tee'Ara Copney needed just eight points to reach 600 in her Upstate career entering the game against Lipscomb (Jan. 24). She earned that and more, finishing with 19 to surpass the 600-point plateau in her young career.
McMillan Tops 700 Career Rebounds
With 17 rebounds at North Florida (Jan. 15), senior Chelsea McMillan reached yet another statistical milestone, 700 in her career. She currently has 791 rebounds in her two and a half years in the program. She ranks fifth all-time at Upstate, nine away from fourth on the all-time list. Yakeeshia Ross owns the top mark with 991 in her brilliant four-year career from 2002-06.
McMillan at the Top, Statistically Speaking
Upstate senior post player Chelsea McMillan either leads or is near the top of the A-Sun rankings in several statistical categories. She leads the conference with 11.9 rebounds per game and 2.0 blocks per outing. She ranks third in scoring at 16.1 points per game, while also ranking in the top 15 in field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
Upstate Among A-Sun's Statistical Leaders
As a team, Upstate leads the A-Sun in steals at 10.7 per game. The Spartans also rank in the top three in scoring (3rd, 69.9 ppg), free throw percentage (3rd, 72.3%), rebounding (2nd, 42.5 rpg) and assists (3rd, 13.9 apg). Individually, Chelsea McMillan tops the conference with 11.9 rebounds per outing and 2.0 blocked shots per game.