DURHAM, N.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (1-8) dropped a 93-35 decision to No. 6/5 Duke (7-2) today at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Spartans trailed by 20 at halftime (44-24), but couldn't overcome a four minute drought to start the second stanza, followed by five minutes of not scoring halfway through the second frame.
"I felt like the first half we played pretty well, and then the second half it seemed like the bottom fell out of it and they blew it open pretty big," said Upstate head coach Tammy George. "I'm proud of my kids, they played hard for the most part and didn't quit. We're playing a tough schedule and trying to get ourselves ready for conference play. We start conference next week, we've played Duke, [North] Carolina, Auburn, and Vanderbilt, so hopefully when conference season rolls around we'll be ready to go."
Upstate was led by junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) with eight points, while junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was second on the team with five points. Copney dished out one assist and grabbed two steals, while Smith handed out two assists and swiped a team-high three steals.
Junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) snagged a team-high for the Spartans with six rebounds, while junior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ill.) collected five boards. McRoberts tallied four points on the day as did freshmen Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) and Paulina Zaveckaite (Gainesville, Fla.). Robinson and McRoberts each had three assists for Upstate, while Robinson also registered two steals.
The ranked Blue Devils were led by a quartet of scorers in double-figures as Elizabeth Williams posted a career-high 22 points to go along with nine rebounds. Haley Peters also totaled nine boards, while putting up 17 points. Chloe Wells and Kathleen Scheer added 11 and 10 points, respectively for Duke.
"Playing good competition like this is good exposure for our program," George said. "We get out and see what other schools are like, big time programs. It's been a tough schedule with Duke, [North] Carolina, Vanderbilt, and I think Auburn is very good as well. It just makes us better and I think we'll be ready to go around the time conference season rolls around."
Duke won the battle of the boards 41-23. Upstate shot 25.5 percent from the floor, compared to the Blue Devils' 59.7 percent mark. Duke was 33.3 percent from behind the arc, while the Spartans were 13.6 percent. The Spartans, who rank 28th in the nation in free-throw percentage, were 66.7 percent from the charity stripe, while the Blue Devils were 60.9 percent.