Spartans Set for Inaugural Battle with Norse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (5-7, 1-0 A-Sun) heads back to the Blue Grass State to square off with Atlantic Sun Conference newcomer Northern Kentucky (3-8, 0-2 A-Sun) Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
SCOUTING NORTHERN KENTUCKY
This will be the first meeting between Upstate and A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky. This is NKU's first season at the Division I level and Saturday will be the first A-Sun contest inside The Bank of Kentucky Center.
The Norse are 3-8 on the season, including a 2-1 mark at home. Northern Kentucky opened conference play with a pair of road losses at Jacksonville Dec. 31 and North Florida Jan. 2. Kayla Thacker and Tiara Hopper led the Norse in their 65-60 loss at JU, recording 16 points each. In NKU's 59-55 loss at UNF, Ellen Holton paced the team with 13 points, while Christine Roush and Hopper added 11 apiece.
On the season, Hopper leads the squad, averaging 11.7 points a game and 6.5 rebounds per contest. Thacker is second on the team, putting up 11.6 points an outing for Northern Kentucky, while grabbed 5.8 boards per game. Roush averages 9.5 points a contest, while snagging 4.7 rebounds a game. Jaimie Hamlet paces the Norse, dishing out 2.5 assists an outing, while Thacker swipes a team-best 2.2 steals per contest.
SPARTAN QUICK HITS
• Upstate closed out its four-game homestand with a 90-79 victory over ETSU Jan. 2 to open A-Sun play. The Spartans head into their first full weekend of conference action, traveling to A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky Saturday before taking on Lipscomb Monday. Upstate is 2-4 on the road this season, while NKU posts a 2-1 home record.
•Upstate's 90 points is the largest point total for the Spartans this season as the previous team high was 83 points against St. Andrews Nov. 19. Wednesday's contest was also the first time all season five Spartans have scored in double-digits.
• Senior Tee'Ara Copney has posted double-figures in eight contests this season, including five-straight. She recorded a season-high 22 points against High Point Dec. 16 and Furman Dec. 29. The 22 points is a high for any Spartan this season. Copney leads Upstate, averaging 12.8 points an outing to rank fifth in the A-Sun statistical rankings.
• Senior Hannah Ohl is also on a double-digit points streak, recording double-figures in three-straight games for the Spartans. She tallied a career-high 19 points against ETSU Wednesday. In the last three contests, she has made a combined 14 baskets from three-point range. Ohl posted a career-high five made treys against High Point Dec. 16 and then again against ETSU Jan. 2, while draining four three-balls against Furman Dec. 29.
• Freshman Brittany Starling turned in her first career double-double against ETSU Wednesday, registering 10 points and a season-high 10 rebounds.
• Even though Upstate has played three nationally ranked teams, the Spartans currently lead the Atlantic Sun in field goal percent defense with their opponents shooting .369. The Spartans also top the A-Sun in defensive rebounds, snagging 27.8 defensive boards per game.
• The Spartans are second in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 42.4 percent from the floor.
Fans can watch the action as its streamed live for free at ASun.TV or follow along on Livestats. Join in the conversation on Twitter at #UpstateWBB. Follow Upstate women's basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.