FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team wraps up a four-game homestand with a black-out Monday, hosting Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Lipscomb for a 7:03 p.m. EST tip-off on ESPN3.
This will be the 12th meeting between Lipscomb and Upstate. The Spartans won six-straight before the Lady Bisons picked up a 57-56 win at the buzzer earlier this season in Nashville, Tenn. Upstate holds an 8-3 advantage over LU, including a 5-0 mark in Spartanburg.
The Jan. 7 loss at Lipscomb was the start of a five-game skid for Upstate, which was snapped with a 61-52 win at Kennesaw State Jan. 21. The win over the Spartans is LU's only conference victory this season as the Bisons are 1-9 in the A-Sun and 2-18 overall. Upstate is 8-13 and 4-6 in the league.
On season, the Bisons are led by Hannah Phillips and Presley Stastny, averaging 12.7 and 8.6 points per game, respectively. Phillips ranks seventh in the A-Sun in scoring average, while Stastny is 29th. Tee'Ara Copney paces the Spartans with 13.2 points a contest to rank fourth in the league statistics, while Upstate freshman Brittany Starling is 23rd in the conference with 9.4 points an outing.
Phillips leads Lipscomb on the boards, grabbing 5.4 rebounds a game, while freshman Alex Banks is second on the squad, pulling down 4.7 per contest. Phillips is tied for 19th in the A-Sun in rebounding, while Starling leads Upstate with 5.6 boards a game to tie for 16th in the league. In conference only games Banks and Starling lead all A-Sun freshmen in scoring average, tying for 14th with 11.3 points per game.
The Bisons are last in A-Sun with a -17.9 scoring margin, while the Spartans are sixth with a -7.4 scoring margin. Upstate is sixth in scoring offense, averaging 59.8 points per game, while LU is 10th, recording 51.3 points a contest.
Lipscomb is currently on a six-game losing-streak, marking its third six-game skid of the season. In the team's last outing, the Bisons dropped an 86-64 decision at ETSU Feb. 2. Phillips paced LU in the loss, tallying a game-high 18 points. Stastny and Kelli Smith each added eight points for Lipscomb, while Banks pulled down a team-best six rebounds.
SPARTAN QUICK HITS
• Upstate closes out a four-game homestand Monday, hosting Lipscomb for a black-out as the Spartans look to get back in the win column after their three-game winning streak was halted with an 81-61 setback to Northern Kentucky Saturday.
• During the three-game win-streak, Upstate averaged 65.7 points a game and beat opponents by a margin of 13.3 points.
• Head coach Tammy George looks to pick up her 100th win at Upstate. She has coached the Spartans to 99 wins in eight years, becoming the winningest coach in program history during the 2010-11 season.
• Starling was named the A-Sun Newcomer of the Week Jan. 29 after turning in back-to-back double-doubles in a pair of Spartan victories. In two games, the freshman center averaged 20.0 points per game and 13.5 rebounds an outing. She pulled down a career-high 15 boards against Jacksonville Jan. 26 and tallied a career-best 21 points against North Florida Jan. 28. She went on to post a team-high 15 points against Northern Kentucky Feb. 2, marking the six-straight game that the rookie has led Upstate in either points or rebounds. In the last four contests, Starling is averaging 15.0 points per game and snagging 10.3 rebounds an outing.
• Starling leads Upstate on the boards this season, pulling down 5.6 rebounds per game and is tied for 16th in the A-Sun. She is second on the team for Upstate in scoring and leads all newcomers, averaging 9.4 points per game. She climbed to second in the conference with a 51.4 field goal percentage, leading all A-Sun freshmen.
• Tyra Smith handed out a season-high eight assists in the 64-52 win over North Florida. Smith is currently fourth in the A-Sun, dishing out 3.9 helpers a contest.
• The Spartans shot a staggering 58.1 percent from the floor against North Florida Jan. 28, marking the highest field goal percentage recorded by any team in the A-Sun this season.
• Copney paces Upstate this season, averaging 13.2 points per game to rank fourth in the A-Sun. She tied her season-best 23 points against North Florida Jan. 28.
• After setting the Upstate career record in steals earlier this season, Copney currently is tied for third in the league in steals per game, averaging 2.5 a contest. She is 90th in the NCAA stats.
• Upstate tops the Atlantic Sun in defensive rebounds, snagging 26.2 defensive boards per game. The Spartans are third in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 41.7 percent from the floor, while ranking 64th in the NCAA national statistical rankings.
• The Spartans are second in the A-Sun in free throw percentage, shooting 74.9 percent in all games, just behind FGCU with 75.4. In the most recent NCAA national statistical rankings, Upstate is 28th at the line. The Spartans top the league in A-Sun only action, shooting 80.0 percent from the charity stripe. Smith is second in the A-Sun with an 82.8 free throw percentage, connecting on 53-of-64 attempts from the line to rank 37th in the nation. In conference only play she leads the A-Sun stats, shooting 87.9 percent.
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.