Spartan Women’s Trip to A-Sun Tourney Cut Short with 72-59 Loss to Stetson
MACON, Ga. – The No. 7 seed USC Upstate women's basketball team's (9-21, 8-10 A-Sun) season came to a close tonight with a 72-59 loss to No. 2 seed Stetson in the quarterfinal round of the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Championship hosted by Mercer.
The Spartans started off strong in the first half, leading the majority of the period thanks to three early three-pointers from junior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ill.). Upstate jumped ahead by five (26-21) after a three-ball from junior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.) with 7:16 to go in the first frame. However, the Hatters refused to go away easily and proceeded to go on a 15-1 run over the remainder of the half, taking a 36-27 lead at the intermission.
Despite a career-high 18 points from Ohl, the Spartans couldn't recover. The closest Upstate got was within nine points (46-37) with 13:37 to play in the contest.
Ohl led Upstate in scoring, also netting a career-high four three-pointers. Upstate freshman Paulina Zaveckaite (Telsiai, Lithuania) helped the offensive effort, recording 14 points to go along with 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. The Lithuania center was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe on the night. Copney rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Spartans with 10 points, marking her 24th double-digit effort of the season. She also grabbed seven boards, while swiping two steals.
Junior Tyra Smith (Lawrenceville, Ga.) handed out a game-high and career-best 11 assists for Upstate tonight, while posting four points and two rebounds. Her classmate Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) was second on the team in rebounding, snagging nine boards to go along with four points and two blocked shots. Freshman Hikeya' Davis (York, S.C.) added five points, going 3-for-3 from the line.
Stetson was led by Sasha Sims with 18 points and three steals. The 2012 A-Sun Player of the Year Victoria McGowan flirted with a double-double, registering 15 points and nine rebounds. Cherisse Burris recorded a double-double for the Hatters with 12 points and 12 boards. Shanasa Sanders added seven points and nine rebounds.
The Hatters outscored the Spartans in the paint 46-18, off of turnovers 10-5 and off the bench 17-9. Stetson won the battle of the boards 52-40 and the contest of second chances 21-3. Upstate shot 33.3 percent from the floor and 18.5 percent from behind the arc. The Hatters were 39.0 percent from the floor and 10.5 percent from long distance. The Spartans were better from line, shooting 73.7 percent compared to Stetson's 58.8 percent.
No. 2 seed Stetson advances to play in the semifinal round of the A-Sun Tournament Friday, March 2 at 2:30 p.m., taking on the winner of tomorrow's quarterfinal between No. 3 seed Belmont and No. 6 seed Jacksonville. Follow the Spartans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.