Women’s Basketball Preview: Winthrop

Women’s Basketball Preview: Winthrop

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team will look to get back on the winning track against Winthrop on Thursday night in Rock Hill.

The old NAIA rivals meet for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. Winthrop (6-7, 2-0 Big South) won the last meeting between the two squads 78-42 in Rock Hill and holds a 12-5 advantage in the All-Time series against USC Upstate (4-8, 0-1 Big South). The Spartans last win in the rivalry came during the 1985-1986 season.

USC Upstate is coming off an 87-61 loss to High Point on January 5. Sophomore forward Michaela Gibbons scored a game high 19 points and also led the Spartans with six rebounds coming off the bench. Starting point guard Brianna Lewis ended the game with 15 points and a new career high in steals (5) against the Panthers. Riley Popplewell was the only other Spartan to reach double figures in the game and finished a perfect six-for-six at the free throw line.

Lewis currently leads the Big South and ranks 24th nationally in scoring with 20.1 points per game. The junior guard also leads the conference in assists per game with 5.7, that mark ranks her 24th nationally as well. Popplewell currently ranks 25th nationally in offensive rebounds with 4.0 offensive boards per game. The junior forward also leads the Big South in Field Goal percentage (.560) and ranks second in rebounds with 8.7 boards per game.

The Spartans currently rank second in the Big South in scoring offense (67.7 ppg), field goal percentage (.392) and third in the league in three-point field goals made (82).

Winthrop is entering the midweek matchup the winners of two straight in Big South play. The Eagles defeated Longwood to open up conference play on Saturday afternoon and most recently defeated Charleston Southern on Tuesday evening.

Kem Nwabudu currently leads the Eagles offense with 9.0 points per contest. Nwabudu also leads the team in steals (23) and blocks (13). Anika Riley is second on the team in scoring averaging 8.4 points per game. Riley Currently leads the team in rebounds with 101 and is second on the team in field goal percentage (.406).

Fans can follow the action on www.winthrop eagles.com via live stats. The game is being streamed via paid subscription on ESPN +. Updates will also be posted on the USC Upstate women's basketball Twitter page (@UpstateWB). 

2019 Big South Basketball Flex Plans are now available. Choose the five Big South Conference games you want for one low cost. Log on to www.upstatespartans.com to purchase your flex plan today!

The Spartans next game will be at Presbyterian on January 12 at 2:00 p.m.

Follow USC Upstate women's basketball on Facebook (UpstateAthletics), Twitter (@UpstateWB), Instagram (@upstatespartans), YouTube (USCUpstateAthletics) and via text/e-mail alerts (www.upstatespartans.com/list-signup).