Spartan Women’s Hoops Hope to Take Flight against Ospreys
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The USC Upstate women's basketball (2-15, 1-5 A-Sun) continues its city tour of Jacksonville, taking on Atlantic Sun opponent North Florida (6-11, 3-3 A-Sun) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. inside UNF Arena.
North Florida Nuggets:
North Florida enters Saturday's contest with a 6-11 record this season, including a 3-3 mark in A-Sun play. The Ospreys are 6-2 at home this season.
The Ospreys have won their last two home contests. In the team's last outing, UNF edged ETSU 70-67 Thursday, Jan. 12. Upstate also battled the Buccaneers in a three-point game as the Spartans dropped a 67-64 decision at ETSU Jan. 4. Brittany Kirkland led the Ospreys against the Bucs with 15 points, while Fabiola Josil recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jadhken Kerr and Octavia Lamar added 12 and 10 points, respectively for North Florida.
On the season, UNF is led by Kirkland, averaging 12.5 points per game, while Kerr is second on the squad with 7.4 points a game. Josil averages 7.2 points per contest. Larkira Jones leads the Ospreys in rebounds, snagging 7.4 boards a game. Josil is second on the team with 5.2 rebounds per game.
North Florida owns a 12-6 overall advantage against the Spartans, including a 7-1 mark in Jacksonville, Fla. Last season the Spartans split their two games against UNF. Upstate won the last meeting against the Ospreys 78-65 Feb. 14, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. In the teams' first contest last season, North Florida won 91-73 at home Jan. 15, 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 forward 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 forward 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.
Strong play from the Spartan post players has also extended to freshman Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.). Hicks has recorded three-straight double-digit scoring efforts. She posted 10 points against Kennesaw State Jan. 7 at home and followed that performance, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds against Mercer Jan. 9. Hicks registered a career-high 13 points at Jacksonville Jan. 12.
Upstate is led by Copney with 15.8 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per contest. Freshman Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) and junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) are averaging 7.4 and 6.4 points per contest, respectively. Zaveckaite leads the squad with 7.3 boards per contest, while McRoberts is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 5.1 per game.