Upstate Holds Belmont at Bay for Third-Straight Win
Nashville, Tenn. – USC Upstate scored its final 13 points from the free throw line and held off Belmont to take a 63-53 victory at the Curb Event Center Saturday evening in the first of two games on the road trip to Music City this weekend.
Upstate improved to 15-11 overall and 11-6 in the A-Sun with the win. The Spartans will stay in Nashville and face Lipscomb Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central. Belmont fell to 8-18 overall and 5-12 in the league.
When Chelsea McMillan (East Gadsden, Fla.) converted a layup with 4:29 to play, she was fouled on the play and went to the line. She made the free throw and Upstate made 12 more without a field goal the rest of the game to take the win. She had another strong game, pouring in her 15th double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots to lead the Upstate cause.
In addition to McMillan, Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) also had a strong game for the Spartans. She finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and three steals for Upstate. Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) added a solid 10 points and eight boards.
Upstate opened the scoring in the game and took a 5-0 lead early on. Belmont, though, battled back and it was a fight for the rest of the half to see which team would gain an advantage. There were five ties and three lead changes in the first half alone. After Upstate managed to stretch out a small three-point lead, 24-21, on Christine Nyobe's (Bertoua, Cameroon) layup with 5:59 to play, Belmont countered and opened a four-point advantage with 1:36 to go before the half. The Bruins would take a 31-29 lead into halftime.
Upstate tied the game on McMillan's layup to open the second half, but the trend continued with the teams jockeying for position. Belmont took a 38-37 lead with 15:05 to play in the game, but Upstate used a 9-0 run to open an eight-point lead, 46-38, with 9:11 to go.
Although Upstate seemed in control, Belmont erased the lead with a 10-0 run of their own to open a 48-46 advantage with 5:02 to play in the game. It was Upstate's turn and the Spartans went on a 7-0 spurt to take a 53-48 lead with 4:06 to play.
Belmont cut the lead to three with 3:52 remaining, but that would be as close as the Bruins would get as Upstate converted 10-of-14 free throws the rest of the way to hold off Belmont and take the win.
Upstate shot 37 percent from the field and was just 4-of-12 from the three-point arc for the game. The Spartans did make 27 trips to the free throw line, making 21 from the stripe to earn the win. Belmont shot 35 percent from the floor and was just 3-of-16 from the three-point arc, including a 1-of-8 performance in the second half. The Bruins made 10-of-19 from the free throw line. There were a total of 10 ties and 10 lead changes in the game.
Haley Nelson came off the bench to post a team-high 15 points to lead Belmont. Tereva Moore totaled 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bruins.