SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the second time this season, the USC Upstate women's basketball team (2-14, 1-4 A-Sun) heads south for the Sunshine State, taking on Atlantic Sun Conference foe Jacksonville (4-12, 2-3 A-Sun) tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Jacksonville enters Thursday's contest with a 4-12 record this season, including a 2-3 mark in A-Sun play. The Dolphins are 4-2 at home this season.
The Dolphins have lost their last two games. In the team's last outing, JU dropped a 74-51 decision at Florida Gulf Coast. Crystal Bell and Abril Peeples led the Dolphins against the Eagles recording identical stats of 12 points and nine rebounds. Jacksonville lost at Stetson in double overtime 93-86 Jan. 7.
JU is led by Bell, averaging 12.6 points per game, while Tracie Sneed is second on the squad with 10.4 points a game. Peeples averages 9.1 points per contest. Jade Cargill leads Jacksonville in rebounds, snagging 7.5 boards a game. Sneed is second on the team with 6.4 rebounds per game, while Bell averages 6.3 boards. Peeples has handed out 32 assists on the season, while Bell has swiped 44 total steals.
Jacksonville owns a 4-3 overall advantage against the Spartans, including a 2-1 mark in Jacksonville, Fla. Last season the Spartans split their two games against JU. Upstate won the last meeting against the Dolphins 72-68 Feb. 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. In the teams' first contest last season, Jacksonville won 87-75 at home Jan. 17, 2011.
Junior guard Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) tallied her 1,000th-career-point Saturday, Jan. 7 against Kennesaw State. Her jumper with 42 seconds left in the first period gave her exactly 1,000. She went on to lead the Spartans with 22 points on the day.
Junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) recorded her first double-double of the season and third of her career in a 77-56 win over Mercer Jan. 9 with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) registered three-straight double-doubles earlier this season. She earned Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Week honors Jan. 3, after recording the first two double-doubles at Coastal Carolina Dec. 29 (15 points, 17 rebounds) and against Western Carolina Jan. 2 (14 points, 13 rebounds). She added her third double-double at ETSU Jan. 4 with 11 points and 17 rebounds.
The Spartans wrapped-up non-conference action Jan. 2, hosting Western Carolina. Upstate's non-conference slate this season included a pair of contests against Southeastern Conference opponents in Vanderbilt and Auburn and another set of games against ranked Atlantic Coast Conference teams in then-No. 20/19 North Carolina and then-No. 6/5 Duke.
Upstate is led by Copney with 15.9 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per contest. Freshman Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) and junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) are averaging 7.3 and 6.7 points per contest, respectively. Zaveckaite leads the squad with 7.4 boards per contest, while McRoberts is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 5.1 per game.