Upstate Plays Host to Jacksonville Saturday
Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate will look to return to its winning ways when it plays host to Jacksonville Saturday afternoon at 4:30 in the Hodge Center. The Spartans are on a two-game losing streak and will look to avenge an 87-75 loss at Jacksonville on Jan. 17 in Jacksonville, Fla. The series between the schools, which dates back to the 2007-08 season when Upstate entered the A-Sun and Division I, is tied at 3-3, though Upstate has won three of the last four meetings.
Upstate enters the game with a 12-11 overall record and an 8-6 mark in the A-Sun. The Spartans dropped a pair of games last weekend in Florida, losing to league-leader Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday and Stetson this past Monday. Those losses came on the heels of Upstate winning two in a row over Mercer and Kennesaw State. Jacksonville enters the game with an 11-12 overall record and a 6-8 mark in the conference. The Dolphins dropped a 55-49 decision to North Florida on Tuesday following a two-game winning streak with wins over Belmont and Lipscomb.
Fans can follow the action live online in a variety of ways. Live audio and 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 web at ASun.TV.
Looking Back at Stetson
Upstate rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half to take the lead late on a three-point play from Chelsea McMillan, but Stetson scored the game's final five points to take an 80-76 victory in DeLand, Fla., Monday night in the Edmunds Center. The Spartans trailed by 12 on two occasions in the second half and by nine with under six minutes to play, but rallied to cut into the lead. When McMillan converted a layup and free throw with 30 seconds to play, Upstate led by one. However, the Hatters finished the game with five-straight points to secure the win. McMillan was once again dominant in the game, finishing with 28 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three steals and two assists. Sharniece Wadelington tied a career-high with 18 points in the loss.
Jacksonville enters Saturday's game at Upstate with an 11-12 overall record and a 6-8 mark in the A-Sun. The Dolphins had claimed wins over Belmont and Lipscomb, but took a loss against North Florida on Tuesday night to end its two-game winning streak.
Jacksonville is 5-5 in its last 10 games, all in the A-Sun. The Dolphins have picked up league wins over Stetson (home), Belmont (away), Upstate (home), Mercer (away), Belmont (home) and Lipscomb (home). The Dolphins have dropped league games to Florida Gulf Coast (away), Campbell (away), Lipscomb (away), ETSU (home), Kennesaw State (away), North Florida (away), Campbell (home) and North Florida (home).
In the first meeting between Upstate and Jacksonville, the Dolphins caught fire from three-point range in the second half and managed to extend its lead to a margin that Upstate could never manage to cut into completely. In the end, Gigi Thomas led the Dolphins with 16 points and four assists as four Jacksonville players reached double figures to match the four Upstate placed in double figures.
Tanes Richardson tops Jacksonville in scoring at 11.1 points per game. She also leads the team in rebounding and nearly averages a double-double with 9.6 rebounds per outing. She tops the club with 34 blocked shots and is second with 37 steals. Gigi Thomas ranks second on the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg, while Crystal Bell ranks third at 10.3 ppg.
Spartans Get It Done at Home
To say that Upstate likes playing at home is an understatement. The Spartans are currently 8-2 on the year in the Hodge Center, 6-1 at home against A-Sun opponents. On the road, the Spartans are just 4-9 on the year, 2-5 against league foes.
Wallace Nears All-Time Three-Point Record
Kendra Wallace has had a solid career at Upstate. Starting with her freshman season when she sank 72 three-pointers en route to being a unanimous all-freshman team selection in the A-Sun, she is set to become Upstate's all-time three-point shooter. She now has connected on 166 treys in her three-year career and is just three shy of the all-time mark of 169 held by Stephanie Feyes (2001-05).
McMillan in Rare Air
Senior post player Chelsea McMillan is in rare air within the storied history of the women's basketball program. She is the 13th person in the history of the program to reach 1,000 career points. With 1,154 points and 811 rebounds in her three seasons at Upstate, she is just the fourth person to reach 1,100 points and 800 rebounds.
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 61 total rebounds on the year with 39 coming on the offensive glass. That figure represents 64 percent of her rebounds for the season.
McMillan Surpasses 1,100 Career Points
Chelsea McMillan has reached career scoring milestones of 800, 900 and 1,000 points this season. With 21 points against Kennesaw State (Jan. 31), she reached 1,100 points. She is the 13th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 points and now ranks in a tie for ninth all-time with 1,154 points. She started her collegiate career at Santa Fe Community College before transferring to Upstate as a sophomore.
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.
McMillan Tops the A-Sun in Rebounding
Chelsea McMillan ranks among the league leaders in several statistical categories. She tops the league with 11.9 rebounds per game and is the only player in the conference to average a double-double with 16.8 points as well.
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 Tops 800 Career Points
Though the countdown is on in Kendra Wallace's chase of the all-time three-point record at Upstate, she has already reached one career milestone, topping 800 career points. She now has 813 points and is well on her way to becoming the 14th person in the history of the program to reach 1,000 in her career.
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. She now has 652 points in her career.
McMillan Tops 800 Career Rebounds
While Chelsea McMillan has reached 1,000 career points, she also has moved up on the all-time rebounding list at Upstate. She has topped the 800-career rebound mark to rank fourth all-time at Upstate. Yakeeshia Ross owns the top mark with 991 in her brilliant four-year career from 2002-06.
McMillan a Double-Double Machine
Chelsea McMillan holds Upstate's record for the most double-doubles in Upstate's Division I history. She has posted double dips 35 times in her three years in the program. After posting six as a sophomore in 2008-09, she tallied 16 last season, recording a double-double in more than half of the games last season. She started the 2010-11 season with a bang, going for 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds at Mississippi State (Nov. 12). She now has 13 double dips this season.