FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (3-5) returns to the Hodge Center Monday, taking on UNC Asheville (1-6) at 7 p.m. to open a four-game homestand.
SCOUTING UNC ASHEVILLE
This will be the ninth meeting between UNC Asheville and Upstate. The Bulldogs hold a 6-2 advantage against the Spartans in the all-time series, including a 2-1 mark in Spartanburg.
Asheville is 1-6 on the season with a 1-4 record at home. The team's lone victory came Nov. 20 against Montreat College in a 77-50 fashion. In UNCA's last outing, the Bulldogs dropped a 73-56 decision to Campbell Dec. 1.
In the contest, the Bulldogs had two players score double-figures as Shonese Jones led the way with 21 points. Gentry Manley helped the offensive effort, putting up 11 points, while Jeannie Buckner added nine. Buckner flirted with a double-double, grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds for Asheville.
On the season, Jones paces Asheville with 11.9 points per game, while Manley is second on the squad with 9.3 points a contest. Kelli Riles leads the Bulldogs in rebounding, pulling down 10.1 boards an outing and averaging 7.9 points a game.
The last time Upstate and UNC Asheville met, the Spartans claimed a 73-66 victory in Asheville, N.C., Nov. 30, 2011. In that contest, Upstate guard Tee'Ara Copney put on quite a show in her hometown, posting a career-high 34 points. Briana Robinson recorded 10 points for the Spartans, while Paulina Zaveckaite grabbed nine boards. Lauren McRoberts helped Upstate, tallying eight points and pulling down seven rebounds.
Leah Wormack led the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Riles registered a double-double of 12 points and 28 rebounds. Manley helped with 11 points and seven boards.
SPARTAN QUICK HITS
• Upstate improved to 4-2 in home-openers over the last six years with an 83-26 win over St. Andrews Nov. 19. Copney led the team with 19 points, while freshman Tweety Hawkins recorded 13 points.
• The Spartans closed-out a four-game road swing, taking a 75-45 loss at No. 14/19 West Virginia Saturday. Upstate opened the season with two-straight losses as the Spartans dropped contests at Purdue Nov. 10 and at Old Dominion Nov. 13.
• Upstate picked-up its first win of the season at Norfolk State Nov. 15 with a 71-64 come-from-behind overtime win.
• Copney also led Upstate against NSU Nov. 15 with another 16 points, while freshman Tweety Hawkins was second on the team, putting up 14 points.
• The Spartans improved to 3-5 on the season after picking up a 51-48 win on the road at Western Carolina Nov. 27 as a trio of Spartans scored double-figures. Copney paced the squad with a game-high 18 points after recording just two points in the previous two contests (George Washington Nov. 21 and Kentucky Nov. 25). Freshman Brittany Starling posted 12 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while senior Hannah Ohl registered a season-best 10 points against WCU.
• Copney was named to the 2012-13 Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team, after averaging 15.7 points per game last season and ranking third in the A-Sun in scoring average. She was an All-Conference First Team selection at the end of the 2011-12 season.
• Upstate has a difficult nonconference slate this season with four NCAA Tournament teams from last year on the docket, including three teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Poll in Kentucky, West Virginia and Purdue.