Spartan Women Fall to Owls, 54-45
KENNESAW, Ga. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (6-16, 5-6 A-Sun) dropped a 54-45 decision on the road at Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Kennesaw State (10-13, 5-7 A-Sun) tonight, snapping a four-game Spartan winning-streak.
Kennesaw State started the contest with a 16-4 run in the first five minutes. KSU kept at it and went up 22-6 with 10:19 to go in the first half. The Spartans re-grouped and chipped away at the 16-point deficit, going into the locker room down 31-26 at the intermission.
Upstate came out strong in the second frame, but could not complete the come-back. In the second half, the Spartans were down by three points seven different times, two points three times and pulled within one twice.
The Spartans were led by junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) with 16 points, matching her career-high set against ETSU Jan. 28. She connected on 6-of-8 attempts at the line. Her classmate Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) was second on the squad with eight points, while junior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) tallied seven. Freshmen Briana Robinson (Columbia, S.C.) and Shelby Hicks (Greeneville, Tenn.) added six points each.
McRoberts led Upstate in rebounding, pulling down nine boards, while Robinson snagged five rebounds. Hicks grabbed three boards, while Copney swiped a team-high six steals. Smith and McRoberts had four steals apiece. Smith posted a career-high three blocked shots.
The Owls were led by Lisa Capellan with 16 points, while Chelcey Farrar was second on the squad with 14 points. Taylor Mille tallied nine points, going 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Sametria Gideon recorded nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while grabbing a team-high four steals. Capellan, Gideon and Mills all handed out four assists. Gideon also swatted four Spartan shots.
Upstate shot 32.1 percent from the floor, while KSU shot 36.5 percent. For the first time all season, the Spartans did not make a three-pointer, going 0-of-10 from behind the arc. Kennesaw State was 14.3 percent from long distance. At the charity stripe, Upstate shot a blistering 84.6 percent, connecting on 11-of-13 from the line, while the Owls were 68.2 percent from the line, going 15-for-22.
The Owls won the battle of the boards 44-28, while also winning the contest of second chances 14-2. Upstate outscored KSU in the paint 22-20 and off of turnovers 20-18. The Spartan bench outscored the Owl bench 17-4.
KSU owns a 20-7 overall record against Upstate, including an 11-2 mark in Kennesaw, Ga. The Owls picked up a 74-63 win in Spartanburg, S.C., Jan. 7. Last season, the Spartans swept the Owls, beating KSU 75-67 on the road Jan. 3, 2011 and then again in Spartanburg, S.C., Jan. 31, 2011.