Zaveckaite Registers Third-Straight Double-Double, ETSU Edges Upstate Women 67-64
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) of the USC Upstate women's basketball team (1-13, 0-3 A-Sun) recorded her third-straight double-double as ETSU (2-11, 1-2 A-Sun) edged the Spartans 67-64 inside the Memorial Center tonight.
Upstate battled from behind the entire contest as the Buccaneers had a 37-28 lead at the intermission. The Spartans pulled within three (61-58) after a three-pointer from sophomore Erin Pinkett (Cambridge, Md.) and a basket from Zaveckaite with 3:02 to play. An ETSU jumper from Natalie Pickwell with 1:54 remaining extended the Buc lead to five. However the Spartans wouldn't give up that easily as junior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ill.) knocked down a three to trail by two points. A layup from ETSU's Gwen Washington put the score at 65-61 with a minute left on the clock. Pinkett drained another three-ball for the Spartans with 26 seconds to go as they trailed by one.
Forced to stop the clock, Upstate fouled with 17 second left, sending Pickwell to the line to shoot a one-and-one. She made the first and the second free throw, giving the Bucs a three-point cushion. A missed Spartan three-pointer with four seconds remaining put the final score at 67-64, the closest game for Upstate this season.
Junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) led the Spartans in scoring with 20 points tonight. This marks her third 20-plus point scoring effort for the season and 11th double-digit scoring performance. She tallies 989 career-points, just 11 shy of the 1,000-career-point milestone. Copney also recorded a season-high seven assists to go along with five rebounds on the night.
Zaveckaite posted her third consecutive double-double for Upstate tonight with 11 points and 17 boards. The 17 rebounds match her career-high, which she set at Coastal Carolina Dec. 29. Pinkett registered a career-high 12 points for the Spartans, swishing four-of-five shots from behind the arc. Ohl provided a spark off of the bench for the Spartans, tallying eight points, six rebounds and three steals.
The Buccaneers were led by a trio of scorers in double-figures with Pickwell leading the charge at 22 points. Cara Bowling was second on the squad, posting 15 points, while Destiny Mitchell added a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards.
ETSU owns a 7-2 overall advantage against the Spartans, including a 5-0 mark in Johnson City, Tenn. Tonight's contest marks the smallest margin of victory for the Buccaneers at home over the Spartans. Upstate won the first of two meetings against the Bucs last season, claiming a 78-70 victory Dec. 4, 2010 in Spartanburg, S.C. In the most recent meeting, ETSU picked up a 64-42 decision in Johnson City Jan. 26, 2011.