Upstate Women’s Basketball Loses Clash of the Spartans, 94-81
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (0-5) fell to Norfolk State (3-1) tonight 94-81 as the Hodge Center served as the battle ground between the two Spartan armies.
Upstate jumped ahead by seven points half way through the first stanza, but opened the gate and let Norfolk State battle back and knot things up at 22-22 with 8:09 to play in the first half. NSU ended up taking a 41-39 lead into the locker room at the intermission. However, the Upstate Spartans fought back to lead by a pair of baskets, until tying things up again at 61-61 with 11:35 left to play. A Norfolk State three-pointer from Rae Corbo at the 10:33 mark put the other Spartans up 66-64 and Upstate never recovered.
For the first time this season, Upstate had a quartet of shooters scoring in double-digits. Junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) posted a season-high 25 points, while freshman Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) posted a career-high 18 points. Sophomore Kim Roach (Columbia, S.C.) tallied 16 points, while junior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ill.) added 10. Copney made three baskets from three-point range, while Ohl had two from behind the arc.
Upstate junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) snagged a team-high seven rebounds, which were all defensive. Sophomore Madisen Webb (Georgetown, Ky.) pulled down five boards. Junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) handed out nine assists for the Upstate Spartans, while McRoberts added four.
Norfolk State was led by a double-double from Rachel Gordon with 25 points and 12 boards, while Corbo was second on the team with 17 points. Whitney Long and Marian Brooks registered 15 and 11 points, respectively. NSU's offense was facilitated by Recca Trice, dishing out 14 assists, while also swiping four steals.
The Norfolk State Spartans won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Upstate Spartans 42-26. Upstate turned the ball over 20 times, compared to NSU's 16 turnovers. The overall field goal percentages were close to the same as Upstate was 52.4 percent from the floor and Norfolk State was 53.1 percent. Upstate shot 38.1 percent from behind the arc, while NSU was 62.5 percent from three-point range. Upstate went 69.2 percent from the charity stripe, compared to Norfolk State's 67.7 mark from the line.
This was the fourth meeting between Norfolk State and Upstate. NSU holds a 4-0 advantage, including a 2-0 mark at the Hodge Center. This was the first meeting between Upstate and Norfolk State in the Division I era for both schools. Prior to tonight's contest, the two teams had not met since the 1993-94 season, when Norfolk State defeated Upstate 82-66 in the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional March 11, 1994. NSU ended Upstate's season the previous year as well, beating the South Carolina Spartans 75-68 in the D-II Regional March 13, 1993 in Spartanburg. The first meeting between the two was Dec. 30, 1990, when Norfolk State won 72-58 at the UNC Greensboro Classic.