SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (0-6) is set to take on UNC Asheville (2-3) tomorrow in Asheville, N.C., at 7p.m.
UNC Asheville is 2-3 on the season, losing its last two contests. The Bulldogs dropped a 71-59 decision on the road at Furman Nov. 21, followed by a 88-59 loss at George Mason Nov. 27.
Asheville is 2-0 at home this season, beating Winston-Salem 83-74 Nov. 12 and defeating Montreat College 73-64 Nov. 19 at Kimmel Arena.
The Bulldogs are led by Lindsey Thompson, averaging 14.0 points per game, while Kelli Riles is second on the team, putting up 12.8 points per contest. Riles leads UNCA in rebounding, snagging 10.8 boards per outing. Leah Wormack is second on the squad, pulling down 6.3 rebounds a game. Tacey Trammell leads the Bulldogs, tallying 13 steals on the season, while also averaging a team-high 2.6 assists per contest.
UNC Asheville holds a 6-1 advantage against the Spartans in the all-time series, including a 4-0 mark in Asheville, N.C. In the teams' last meeting, the Bulldogs beat Upstate 95-76 in Asheville, N.C., Nov. 23, 2010. The Spartans' last victory over the Bulldogs came Nov. 28, 2009 in Spartanburg, S.C., when Upstate claimed a 78-60 win.
In last year's contest, Tee'Ara Copney led Upstate with 21 points, while Madisen Webb posted a career-high 18 points. UNCA was led by Thompson with 26 points, while Breaira Barksdale had 15 points and Riles added 12. As a team, Upstate out-rebounded Asheville 47-44, while UNCA committed 18 turnovers compared to Upstate's 22. The Bulldogs shot 49.3 percent from the floor and 44.0 from three-point range, while the Spartans were 35.5 percent from the floor and 19.2 from behind the arc.
The 0-6 start marks the first time the Spartans have dropped their first six contests of the season since the 2001-02 campaign, when they started the year 0-7. That season Upstate opened the season with a 72-67 loss to North Greenville Nov. 16, 2001. In this year's season-opener, the Spartans dropped a 75-57 decision to the Crusaders at the Hodge Center Nov. 11. This is the first time under head coach Tammy George that the Spartans have posted a 0-6 record to start the season.
The 75-34 loss at Auburn Sunday, Nov. 27 was the second Southeastern Conference foe the Spartans face this season. Upstate posted a 88-42 loss at Vanderbilt Nov. 16.
The 91-34 loss at then-No. 20/19 North Carolina Nov. 13 was the first of two Atlantic Coast Conference opponents on the docket for Upstate this season. The Spartans will make the trip from Spartanburg to Durham, N.C., for a 2 p.m. tip-off at No. 7/6 Duke Dec. 11.
The Spartans return six players from last season's squad and welcome eight newcomers. Upstate welcomes five freshmen to the team (Hikeya' Davis, Maddie Herr, Shelby Hicks, Briana Robinson and Paulina Zaveckaite) and a trio of junior college transfers (Hannah Ohl, Erin Pinkett and Tyra Smith).
Upstate is led by Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) with 17.2 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per contest. Sophomores Kim Roach (Columbia, S.C.) and Madisen Webb (Georgetown, Ky.) are averaging 8.0 and 6.7 points per contest, respectively. Junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) leads the squad with 5.5 boards per contest, while Webb is averaging 4.7 rebounds a game.
The Spartans were picked to finish seventh in the A-Sun Preseason Coaches' Poll and fifth in the A-Sun Preseason Media Poll. Copney was a unanimous Preseason All-Conference Team pick, after averaging 15.1 points per game last season. She also averaged 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals per contest.