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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (5-9, 1-2 A-Sun) dropped its second-straight Atlantic Sun Conference contest as Lipscomb drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to edge the Spartans 57-56 inside Allen Arena Monday afternoon.
With 34 seconds to play in the game, Upstate held a 55-52 advantage after a pull-up jumper from senior Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C.). A Spartan foul with 26 seconds on the clock sent Jess Reece to the line for the Bison. Reece netted the pair, cutting the score to 55-54. The Spartans inbounded the ball and Upstate senior Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind.) was fouled while trying to reverse the ball to break the LU press.
At the charity stripe, McRoberts missed the first, but made the second to give Upstate a two-point lead with 20 ticks left. Reece threw up a jumper with nine seconds to go that didn't fall. Lipscomb's Hannah Phillips snagged the offensive rebound and passed the ball out to the perimeter. Presley Stastny jacked a long three that just beat the buzzer, giving LU the 57-56 victory to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Spartans led by as many as nine points during the first half and by as much as six with 4:04 to go in the second frame. Upstate took a 31-27 lead into the locker room at the intermission despite shooting just 29.7 percent from the floor as the Spartans continued to struggle with getting shots to fall. On the night, the Spartans shot 31.7 percent for their lowest field goal percentage in over a month (Dec. 3 against UNC Asheville.)
After tying two Upstate career records against Northern Kentucky Jan. 5, Copney set new career-best marks in three-pointers made and steals. With three made baskets from behind the arc Monday, she tallies 175 made treys to pass Kendra Wallace's (2008-11) record of 172. Coney swiped a game-high three steals, collecting 248 career steals to eclipse Valerie Scott's (1990-94) 245 steals.
Copney paced the Spartans against LU, putting up a season-high 23 points and pushing her double-figure scoring streak to seven-straight games. She was perfect from the line, going 4-for-4. Copney flirted with her first double-double of the season, grabbing a team-high and season-best nine boards.
Upstate freshman Tweety Hawkins (Madison, Ga.) registered a season-high 15 points, while going 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. Her previous season-best was 14 points, which she recorded at Norfolk State Nov. 13. This marked Hawkins' fourth double-digit outings this season.
McRoberts rounded out the double-figures for the Spartans, posting 10 points to reach double-digits for the third time this season. The forward pulled down five rebounds, while swatting a season-best two blocked shots. Junior Valese McAllister (Twin City, Ga.) also crashed the boards for Upstate, snagging eight rebounds to match her season-high. Senior Hannah Ohl (Danville, Ind.) helped the Spartans, collecting five rebounds.
Lipscomb was led by Reece with a double-double of 14 points and 17 rebounds. The 6-3 center also posted a game-high six blocked shots. Stastny and Alex Banks each tallied 10 points for the Bison, while Phillips recorded nine.
LU shot 38.3 percent from the floor and 25.0 percent from long distance, while Upstate was 31.7 from the floor and 33.3 from three-point range. The Spartans were 73.3 percent from the line, going 11-for-15. The Bison connected on 18-of-25 freebies for 72.0 percent.
The Bison won the battle of the boards 42-37, while also winning the contest of second chances 14-11. The Spartans turned the ball over just 10 times, compared to LU's 17 turnovers. Upstate scored 16 points off of turnovers, while Lipscomb put up 15 points off of turnovers. The Bison outscored the Spartans in the paint 18-12, but Upstate's bench recorded 22 points, while LU's had nine.
The Spartans return home to square off with A-Sun opponent Stetson Saturday, Jan. 12 for a 2 p.m. tip-off in the Hodge Center. Follow Upstate women's basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.