Spartan Women Win Three-Straight Bouncing Belmont Bruins, 61-51
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (5-15, 4-5 A-Sun) picked-up its third-straight win today, beating Atlantic Sun Conference foe Belmont (6-14, 5-4 A-Sun) 61-51 inside the Hodge Center. The Spartans have won four of their last five games.
Upstate took a 27-24 lead into the locker room at the break, but really pulled away in the second frame to outscore Belmont 34-27 that half. The Bruins took a one point lead off of a lay-up early in the second period, but the Spartans answered back with a 14-0 run, which included two three-pointers from junior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ill.). The teams swapped points for a while, but Belmont was never able to fully recover and Upstate claimed the final 61-51 victory.
The Spartans' hot streak continued today as four players scored double-figures with junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) leading the charge with 15 points. Her classmate Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) posted her second double-double of the season, putting up 11 points and snagging 10 rebounds. Copney was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while McRoberts connected on nine of 10 from the charity stripe.
Ohl and freshman Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Spartans. This was Hicks' fifth double-digit scoring effort and Ohl's fourth this season. Ohl handed out a team-high three assists.
Upstate won the battle of the boards 40-32, including McRoberts' 10. Freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) was second on the team with nine rebounds, while Hicks added six. Copney pulled down five boards as junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and sophomore Kim Roach (Columbia, S.C.) had three each. Copney and McRoberts swiped two steals apiece.
Belmont was led by Haley Nelson with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Katie Brooks recorded 14 points. Nelson also registered a game-high three blocked shots. Brooks dished out a game-high four assists, while Adrienne Tarrence had three helpers for the Bruins.
The Spartans shot 36.0 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from behind the arc. Belmont was 34.5 percent from the floor and 7.7 percent from long distance. At the free throw line, Upstate was 76.9 percent, going 20-for-26. Belmont shot 75.0 percent from the line, going 12-for-16. The Bruins outscored the Spartans in the paint 26-18 and won the contest of second chances 11-2. However, the Spartan bench outscored the Bruin bench 32-14, while Upstate scored 14 points off of turnovers compared to Belmont's nine.
Upstate owns a 5-4 overall record against Belmont, including a 3-2 mark in Spartanburg, S.C. The Spartans have won the last five meetings against the Bruins. Last season, Upstate beat Belmont 69-51 in the Hodge Center Jan. 22, 2011 and then again 63-53 in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 19, 2011. The Spartans haven't lost to the Bruins since dropping a 67-61 decision Feb. 13, 2009 in Music City.