Charleston, S.C. – Five Spartans finished in double figures Thursday evening led by 15 points from Sharmayne Edwards, but USC Upstate was unable to hold off College of Charleston as the Cougars defeated the Spartans 85-71 from TD Arena in the first round of the WBI Tournament.
Upstate's season ends with a 17-15 record while College of Charleston improves to 18-14. The Cougars will host A-Sun member Northern Kentucky in the second round of the WBI Tournament.
Edwards added a career-high eight rebounds to go with her 15-point effort, while Travonda Haddock also contributed a career-best 14 points and nine rebounds. Maddie Herr had a career-high 12 points, and Brittany Clency and Raven Jefferson scored 14 and 10, respectively.
Alyssa Frye led all scorers with 21 points for College of Charleston, and Breanna Bolden posted a game-high 12 rebounds for the Cougars.
Upstate missed on its first three field-goal attempts as College of Charleston opened up an 8-0 lead to start the game. The Cougars stretched their lead to eight with 16:21 left on a jumper by Jillian Brown. Herr would get the Spartans on the scoreboard with a three to trim their deficit down to five, 8-3, at the 15:53 mark.
Herr and Jefferson hit three straight three's to tie the game at 9-9 as Herr's second tray evened the score. Haddock would give the Spartans their first lead of the game, 13-12, on her jumper with 11:57 to go. Herr later gave Upstate the lead back as her field goal put the Spartans in front 15-14 just over two minutes later.
College of Charleston answered with a 9-0 run over nearly a three minute span to take a 23-15 lead over the Spartans. The Cougars led by as many as nine three times over the final 5:55 as Frye gave College of Charleston a 35-26 lead with 2:14 remaining. Upstate managed to get within six at 35-29 with 1:18 to go. A free throw by Jazz Green with 29 seconds remaining sent the Cougars into halftime ahead 36-29.
The Spartans and College of Charleston combined to go 9-of-17 shooting to begin the second half as the Cougars held a 49-39 advantage at the 15:59 mark as a free throw by Brown gave the home team a 10-point lead. Upstate got back to within six during that stretch as Edwards connected on a three to make it 43-37, but Frye answered the following possession with a three of her own.
A three by Clency with 15:20 left cut the Spartans deficit to 51-44 as they would stay within that margin for the next two minutes until Jasmine Carter made it a nine-point contest with her basket. Erin Hall's three sparked a 9-2 run by College of Charleston that covered two minutes and gave the Cougars a 62-48 lead with 9:18 to go. College of Charleston led by as many as 17 points twice as Green made it 85-68 with 1:17 remaining. Upstate managed to get back to within seven, 68-61, on a layup by Starling, but the Cougars responded with seven straight points to go back up 14.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 40.0% (28-of-70) and College of Charleston compiled a 42.3% (33-of-78) shooting percentage. Upstate held a 6-4 advantage in fast-break points, and tied in points in the paint (28-28) and bench points (26-26).
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