SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (4-15, 3-5 A-Sun) defeated Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Lipscomb (3-16, 1-7 A-Sun) 73-66 tonight in the Hodge Center.
The Spartans played well in the first half, taking a 33-32 lead into the locker room at the break. This was the second time this season Upstate has led at the half. The Spartans extended their lead in the second frame, outscoring the Lady Bison 40-34 during the second stanza.
Upstate was led by junior guard Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) with 24 points, six assists and a career-high eight steals. She was perfect from the charity stripe, going 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Freshman forward Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) was second on the squad with 13 points, matching her career-high set at Jacksonville Jan. 12. This marked her fourth double-digit scoring effort.
Junior forward Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) rounded out double-figure scoring for the Spartans with 12 points, while snagging a game-high nine rebounds. The junior also recorded two blocked shots. Copney was second on the team with six boards, while Hicks grabbed five rebounds on the night.
Other noteworthy Spartans included freshmen Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) and Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.). Zaveckaite tallied seven points, four boards and one block, while Robinson registered four points. Robinson also pulled down four rebounds and dished out a career-high five assists. Sophomore Erin Pinkett (Cambridge, Md.) recorded six points and two rebounds, while junior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ill.) posted five points and three boards.
Lipscomb was led by Anna Bowers with 19 points and six rebounds. Hannah Phillips was second on the squad, totaling 14 points. Phillips led the team, handing out three assists and swiping five steals. Sasha Robinson also posted a team-high six rebounds. Brittany Duerk and Morgan Faulkner added eight points each for the Lady Bison.
The Spartans shot 48.0 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from behind the arc. LU was 42.1 percent from the floor and 56.3 percent from long distance. Upstate shot 90.9 percent from the line, while Lipscomb was 56.3 percent. The Spartans ranked 16th in the nation in free throw percentage with a 76.7 mark in the latest NCAA statistical rankings released Jan. 15.
Upstate owns a 7-2 overall advantage against the Lady Bison, including a 5-0 mark in Spartanburg, S.C. The Spartans have won the last five meetings against Lipscomb. Last season, Upstate beat Lipscomb 77-70 in the Hodge Center Jan. 24, 2011 and then again 81-76 in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2011. The Spartans haven't lost to the Lady Bison since dropping a 94-77 decision Feb. 15, 2009 in Music City.