Career Days by Popplewell, Gibbons Lift USC Upstate over N.C. Central 82-63

Career Days by Popplewell, Gibbons Lift USC Upstate over N.C. Central 82-63

Box Score (.pdf)

Durham, N.C. – Michaela Gibbons had a career-high scoring effort, while Riley Popplewell and DeNisha Swain each recorded double-doubles, as the USC Upstate women's basketball team earned an 82-63 victory over the N.C. Central Eagles on Saturday afternoon at McDougald-McLendon Arena.

USC Upstate improves to 2-4 on the season while N.C. Central falls to 0-6 overall.


  • Gibbons set a new career-high in scoring for the second time this season tying for a team-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting while also grabbing a career-best eight rebounds.
  • Brianna Lewis scored 14 second-half points and finished with 20 and six assists.
  • Popplewell and Swain each collected their first double-doubles of the season. Popplewell contributed a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds while Swain had 15 points and a career-best 12 rebounds.
  • Swain also tied her career-high of six steals while registering five assists.
  • Paulina Afriyie led the Eagles with 21 points and seven rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting.
  • Jasmine Pollock tallied 12 points.
  • The Spartans held a 45-40 advantage over N.C. Central in rebounds.
  • USC Upstate finished the game with a season-high 50.0 percent (32-of-64) shooting mark.
  • The Spartans also led 46-24 in points in the paint, 31-13 in points off turnovers, 14-9 in second chance points and 18-2 in fast break points.
  • The game featured five ties and four lead changes.


  • USC Upstate opened the game on a 6-2 run and led by four with 7:07 remaining on Popplewell's jumper.
  • N.C. Central answered with an 11-3 run and went ahead 13-9 at the 3:59 mark.
  • The Spartans came back to take a 14-13 lead with 1:09 left on a free throw by Lewis.
  • Swain connected on a 3-pointer with 52 seconds to go and gave USC Upstate a 17-14 lead after the first quarter.


  • Natalia Panufnik started the second starter with a layup and extended the Spartans lead to 19-14 just 21 seconds into the quarter.
  • The Eagles tied the score twice with the last coming at 26-26 with 5:06 remaining.
  • USC Upstate led for the final 3:52 of the quarter.
  • The Spartans led by as many as eight points twice in the first half starting at 37-29 with 2:16 left on a layup from Popplewell.
  • Lewis made two free throws with 51 seconds to go to put USC Upstate in front 39-31.
  • N.C. Central knocked down a 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining as the Spartans led 39-34 at halftime.


  • The Spartans opened the second half on a 9-2 run and pushed their lead out to 48-36 with 6:07 left on a free throw by Popplewell.
  • The Eagles got as close as six points, 50-44, at the 4:23 mark on a 3-pointer.
  • Popplewell put USC Upstate back ahead by double-digits with 2:29 remaining as her layup made the score 54-44.
  • The Spartans closed out the quarter on a 12-0 run over the last 2:48 and held a 62-44 lead capped by a 3-pointer from Gibbons with 22 seconds left.


  • Swain started the fourth quarter scoring for USC Upstate with a layup at the 8:54 mark as it held a 64-44 lead.
  • The Spartans took their largest lead of the game at 70-47 with 6:50 remaining on a layup by Gibbons.
  • N.C. Central cut its deficit to 16 points, 71-55, with 5:06 left.
  • USC Upstate followed with nine of the next 11 points and took an 80-57 lead with 2:27 to go on another 3-pointer by Gibbons.
  • The Eagles got to within 80-63 with 38 seconds remaining on a layup.
  • A jumper by Gibbons with 14 seconds left put the final score at 82-63.


  • The Spartans continue their road trip on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. against South Carolina State.

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