Spartans Look to Take Flight against Ospreys

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Parker, kparker@uscupstate.edu

Game Notes 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team heads back to the Sunshine State this weekend, traveling to North Florida Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off in Atlantic Sun Conference action.

OSPREY OUTLOOK

This will be the 21st meeting between North Florida and Upstate. The Ospreys hold a 12-9 advantage against the Spartans in the all-time series. Despite UNF leading the series 7-2 in Jacksonville, Fla., Upstate claimed the last meeting at UNF Arena 58-57 with a buzzer-beating jumper last season. The Spartans have won four-straight meetings with North Florida, including a 64-52 decision earlier this season in Spartanburg, S.C., inside the Hodge Center.

The Ospreys and Spartans have already clinched spots in the A-Sun Championship, but are still vying for seeding. UNF is currently fifth in the A-Sun standings with a 6-8 record in the league, while Upstate is sixth with a 6-9 conference record. North Florida holds a10-15 overall record, while Upstate is 10-16.

Ki Conner leads UNF in scoring, averaging 9.4 points a game, while Raneisha Lamar is second on the squad with 8.0 points a contest. Conner is 22nd in the A-Sun in scoring average. Lamar leads the Ospreys on the boards, averaging 7.6 rebounds an outing, while Jadhken Kerr is second on team, pulling down 6.2 boards per game.

Tee'Ara Copney paces the Spartans with 12.9 points a contest to rank seventh in the league statistics, while Upstate freshman Brittany Starling is tied for 18th in the conference with 10.0 points an outing.

Lamar is sixth in the A-Sun in rebounding, while Kerr is 13th. Starling leads Upstate with 6.2 boards a game to take 12th in the league. Starling tops the A-Sun in field goal percentage with .540, while Lamar is second with .500.

The Ospreys are ninth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 51.6 points per game, while the Spartans are seventh with 59.6 points a contest. Upstate is fifth in the A-Sun with a -6.8 scoring margin, while North Florida is sixth with a -6.9 scoring margin. If the contest comes down to the charity stripe, the Spartans have the edge as they are fourth in the league, shooting 72.6 percent from the line, while the Ospreys are sixth with a 67.1 freebie percentage. Upstate is second in the conference with a 42.3 field goal percentage, while UNF is eighth, shooting 35.7 percent from the floor.

SPARTAN QUICK HITS

• The Spartans slipped to 3-9 on the road this season, dropping two-straight contests at FGCU Feb. 9 and Stetson Feb. 11.

• Upstate snapped the two-game skid with a 57-48 victory over Kennesaw State Feb. 16 inside the Hodge Center, before nearly upsetting Mercer, who is second in the A-Sun standings, Feb. 18. The Spartans led most of the contest, but the Bears used a late 11-0 run to claim the 55-54 win.

• The Spartans closed out a four-game homestand Feb. 4, with a 78-62 victory over Lipscomb as head coach Tammy George tabbed her 100th win at Upstate in eight seasons. She became the winningest coach in program history during the 2010-11 season.

• Brittany Starling continues to make her case for A-Sun Freshman of the Year, garnering her second A-Sun Newcomer of the Week honor Feb. 19 after averaging a double-double in two contests with 15.5 points per game and 11.5 rebounds a contest. She notched her fourth double-dip of the season against Mercer Feb. 18 with a team-best 17 points and 14 boards.

• Starling is the best among A-Sun freshmen in league play, ranking eighth in scoring with 11.7 points per game and seventh on the boards with 7.5 rebounds an outing. Starling leads Upstate on the boards this season in all games, pulling down 6.2 rebounds per game and is 12th in the A-Sun. She is second on the team for Upstate in scoring and leads all Spartan newcomers, averaging 10.0 points per game.

Tyra Smith tied her season-high, handing out eight assists against Kennesaw State Feb. 16 and gave out six assists against LU Feb. 4. Smith is currently fourth in the A-Sun, dishing out 4.0 helpers a contest. She ranks 117th in the nation in assists per game. 

• In A-Sun only contests, Shelby Hicks is third in the league with a 50.7 field goal percentage behind teammate Brittany Starling (.556) and North Florida's Raneisha Lamar (.535). Starling also tops the conference list in all games with a 54.0 field goal percentage.

• Tee'Ara Copney paces Upstate this season, averaging 12.9 points per game to rank seventh in the A-Sun. She posted a game-best 20 points against KSU Feb. 16, marking her seventh 20-point outing this season. After setting the Upstate career record in steals earlier this season, Copney is second in the A-Sun in steals per game, averaging 2.4 a contest.

• The Spartans are second in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 42.3 percent from the floor, while ranking 55th in the NCAA stats. Upstate is fourth in the A-Sun in free throw percentage with a 72.6 mark to rank 64th in the nation. The Spartans are second in the league in defensive rebounds, snagging 25.7 defensive boards per game.

• 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.

Fans can watch the action as the contest is streamed lived for free on ASun.TV 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.