Spartan Women Tripped-Up by Dolphins, 80-72
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (2-15, 1-5 A-Sun) dropped an 80-72 decision at Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Jacksonville (5-12, 3-3 A-Sun) tonight in Swisher Gymnasium.
The Spartans trailed the Dolphins the entire contest, but kept it close for most of the first half. Upstate cut the Jacksonville lead to three (31-28) with 3:55 to play in the first frame. The Dolphins went on an 8-2 run and took a nine-point lead (39-30) into the locker room at the break.
After the intermission, the Spartans found themselves down 66-49 with 8:43 to play in the game. Despite being down 17 points, Upstate refused to give-up and slowly fought back to the final eight-point deficit (80-72).
The Spartans were led by junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) with 14 points, all in the second half. Freshman forward Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) recorded a career-high 13 points, while junior forward Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) posted a season-high 12 points. This was Hicks' third-straight double-digit scoring effort and McRoberts' second consecutive double-figure outing. Sophomore guard Erin Pinkett (Cambridge, Md.) rounded out the double-digit scoring for Upstate with 10 points.
Freshman center Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) snagged a team-high seven rebounds for Upstate, while Copney, McRoberts and Hicks all pulled down five boards apiece. Copney handed out six assists on the night and swiped five steals. Junior guard Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) also dished out six assists for the Spartans, while grabbing three rebounds. Freshman guard Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) contributed nine points for the Upstate offense and had three boards.
The Dolphins had five players scoring in double-digits as Tracie Sneed led the charge with a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds. Jade Cargill also registered a double-double with 15 points and 13 boards. Abril Peeples added 13 points, while giving out five assists. Crystal Bell and Maggie Wilson contributed 12 points each for JU.
Both teams shot equally from the floor as Upstate shot 42.6 percent and Jacksonville was 42.4 percent. The Spartans were 28.6 percent from behind the arc compared to JU's 37.5 percent. Upstate was better from the charity strip, shooting 83.3 percent compared to Jacksonville's 68.6 percent. However, the Dolphins also had more chances at the line, going 24-for-35, while the Spartans went 10-for-12.
The Spartans lost the battle of the boards 44-37, while also losing the contest of second chances 15-13. JU outscored Upstate in the paint 32-30, while the Spartan bench outscored the Dolphin bench 33-20. Upstate also edged Jacksonville 21-18 on fast break points.
Jacksonville owns a 5-3 overall advantage against the Spartans, including a 3-1 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.