Spartanburg, S.C. – Riley Popplewell scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead three Spartans in double-figures on Tuesday evening as the USC Upstate women's basketball team defeated the Brevard Tornados 71-53 from Eddie and Ann Payne Arena in the G.B. Hodge Center.
USC Upstate improves to 4-7 overall with the victory.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- Popplewell was one of three players to record at least 10 points in the contest with a game-high 20 on 9-of-13 shooting while adding nine rebounds.
- Popplewell also tied her career-highs of five steals and three blocks.
- Michaela Gibbons came off the bench to score 14 points and pulled down six rebounds while going 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
- DeNisha Swain contributed 11 points and matched her career-high of six steals.
- Brianna Lewis dished out a game-high five assists.
- Annalee Bollinger led Brevard offensively with 15 points and Destiny Williams added eight rebounds.
- The Spartans finished the game shooting 38.5 percent (25-of-65) from the field.
- USC Upstate registered a season-high 16 steals.
- The Spartans held a 36-18 advantage in points in the paint, 34-10 in points off turnovers, 22-8 in second chance points, 4-0 in fast break points and 31-15 in bench points.
- The game featured five lead changes and two ties.
FIRST QUARTER BREAKDOWN
- The teams traded the opening 12 points as Popplewell tied the score at 6-6 with 5:40 remaining on her layup.
- USC Upstate would then go on a 7-2 run and took a 13-8 lead at the 3:28 mark after a 3-point play from Popplewell.
- After the Tornados cut the lead down to three points, the Spartans closed out the quarter on a 7-0 run that lasted the final 1:09.
- USC Upstate held Brevard without a point over the final 3:10.
- A 3-pointer by Gibbons with seven seconds left gave the Spartans a 20-10 lead.
SECOND QUARTER BREAKDOWN
- USC Upstate led by double-digits for the first four minutes of the second quarter.
- The Spartans held a 15-point lead, 25-10, after starting the quarter on a 5-0 run capped by Swain's layup with 8:23 to go.
- Brevard responded by going on a 13-2 run that covered a stretch of 3:01 and trailed 27-23.
- USC Upstate answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Rylie Parkhurst and went ahead 33-23 with 4:06 remaining.
- A 3-point play by Swain with 1:12 to go kept the Spartans ahead by 10 points at 40-30.
- The Tornados made two straight 3-pointers to close out the quarter and sent USC Upstate into halftime leading 40-36.
THIRD QUARTER BREAKDOWN
- Brevard opened the second half scoring six consecutive points and went in front 42-40 with 7:43 left.
- The Spartans then held the Tornados without a point over nearly a five-minute run and scored eight straight to take the lead back at 48-42 with 3:23 to go.
- USC Upstate led by as many as eight points twice in the quarter with the last coming at 54-46 with two seconds remaining on two free throws from Gibbons.
- Gibbons had made the score 52-44 almost two minutes earlier with two more free throws.
FOURTH QUARTER BREAKDOWN
- The Spartans outscored Brevard 17-7 in the fourth quarter.
- Neither team scored during the first 1:03 before Popplewell's layup gave USC Upstate a 56-46 lead.
- The Tornados got as close as seven, 60-53, at the 5:16 mark.
- The Spartans closed the game out on an 11-0 run and did not allow a point over the last 5:15.
- USC Upstate recorded its final four points at the free throw line.
- Lewis made two free throws with 27 seconds left to put the final score at 71-53.
- The Spartans are off until Saturday, Jan. 5 when they open Big South play hosting High Point at 2 p.m.
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