FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, email@example.com
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team (7-12, 3-5 A-Sun) looks to pick-up its third-straight win Monday as the North Florida Ospreys (9-10, 5-3 A-Sun) fly into the Hodge Center for a 5:03 p.m. EST tip-off live on ESPN3 in Atlantic Sun Conference action.
This will be the 21th meeting between Upstate and North Florida. The Ospreys hold a 12-8 record in the all-time series, while the Spartans are 5-3 against UNF when playing in Spartanburg.
The Ospreys are 1-8 on the road this year with their lone road win coming Saturday at ETSU in a 62-56 decision. The Spartans are 4-5 at home this season, including two A-Sun home victories.
On the season, Ki Conner leads North Florida in scoring with 8.7 points per game, while Jadhken Kerr is a close second with 8.2 points an outing. Raneisha Lamar paces the Ospreys on the boards, snagging 6.8 rebounds a contest. She also averages 7.5 points a game, while Kerr pulls down 6.5 boards per outing. Lamar ranks eighth in the A-Sun in rebounding, while Kerr is 11th.
North Florida is fifth in the A-Sun in defensive rebounds, averaging 24.8 boards per game, while Upstate tops the league with 26.6 defensive boards a contest. UNF ranks second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage with a 31.7, while the Spartans are third, shooting 31.5 percent from long distance.
In the squad's last outing, the Ospreys held off ETSU to claim a 62-56 victory in Johnson City, Tenn., Saturday. Conner led UNF, tallying a game-high 23 points. Lamar registered a double-double of 12 points and team-best 12 rebounds. Kerr posted eight points to go along with seven boards, while Chandler Merkerson added seven points and seven rebounds. Fabiola Josil handed out a game-high six assists, while putting up six points.
Upstate has won five of the last six contests against North Florida, including three-straight. The Spartans swept UNF in both games last season, picking up a 58-57 win in Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 14, 2012 and a 71-65 decision inside the Hodge Center Feb. 9, 2012.
SPARTAN QUICK HITS
• With a 72-53 win over Jacksonville, Upstate made it two in row after snapping a five-game losing-streak with a 61-52 victory on the road at Kennesaw State Jan. 21.
• The Spartans look to pick-up their third-straight win Monday for the first time this season. Upstate has recorded consecutive wins one other time this season, beating Western Carolina Nov. 27 and UNC Asheville Dec. 3.
• Brittany Starling shined in the paint against Jacksonville with a career-high game, recording 19 points and 15 rebounds for her second double-double of the season on her 19th birthday.
• Starling has really come alive for the Spartans as of late as the JU game marked the fourth-straight contest that Starling has led Upstate in either points or rebounds. She leads the Spartans in rebounding, averaging 5.2 boards an outing and ranks fifth in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 49.6 percent to lead all A-Sun freshmen.
• Tyra Smith tallied 7 points and handed out six against the Dolphins. She went 4-for-4 from the line, improving to 85.2 percent from the charity stripe on the season. The senior is second in the A-Sun at the line and ranks 53rd in the latest NCAA national statistical rankings, connecting on 52-of-61 attempts.
• Upstate is 6-6 when shooting 40.0 percent or better from the floor and 3-0 when shooting 50.0 percent or better. The Spartans posted a 45.9 field goal percentage against Jacksonville Saturday and shot 43.9 percent from at Kennesaw State Jan. 19.
• The Spartans rest second in the A-Sun with a 74.9 free throw percentage, while ranking 28th in the NCAA national statistical rankings.
• Smith guides the Spartan offense, handing out a team-high 72 assists. The point guard is fourth in the A-Sun stats, dishing out 3.8 helpers a game.
• Upstate tops the Atlantic Sun in defensive rebounds, snagging 26.6 defensive boards per game. The Spartans are third in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 41.1 percent from the floor, while ranking 95th in the NCAA national statistical rankings.
• After setting the Upstate career record in steals earlier this season, senior Tee'Ara Copney currently ranks second in the league in steals per game, averaging 2.6 a contest. The thief ranks 86th in the NCAA stats.
Fans can watch the action as the contest is broadcasted nationally on ESPN3 or follow along on Live Stats. Join in the conversation on Twitter at #UpstateWBB. Follow Upstate women's basketball this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.