Women’s Basketball Preview: Presbyterian

Women’s Basketball Preview: Presbyterian

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team will look to continue their winning ways with a road trip to the Ross E. Templeton Center to take on the Presbyterian Blue Hose at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

This is the 41st meeting All-Time between USC Upstate and Presbyterian. The Spartans currently hold a 21-19 advantage in the overall series and are 10-8 against the Blue Hose in Clinton. However, Presbyterian won last year's meeting 83-69 inside the G.B. Hodge Center.

USC Upstate (5-8, 1-1 BSC) is coming off its first ever Big South Conference victory against Winthrop on Thursday evening. The Spartans routed the Eagles 76-50 behind DeNisha Swain's 33 points, a career high for the senior guard. Anda Kuzmina had the hot hand coming off the bench scoring five three-pointers for 15 points. Michaela Gibbons added 10 points in the win and had a career high four steals in the contest.

USC Upstate held Winthrop to 34 percent shooting in the game and forced 30 turnovers. The Spartans scored 23 points off of turnovers and another 30 points in the paint against the Eagles. The win now gives the Spartans a .500 record in conference play entering Saturday's contest with Presbyterian (3-11, 1-2 BSC).

Brianna Lewis currently leads the team and conference in scoring with 19.2 points per contest. Lewis also leads the conference and team in assists per game at 5.8, both stats rank in the top-25 nationally. Swain is currently second on the team in scoring averaging 11.6 point per game. The senior also leads the team with 40 steals and is second on the team in assists.

Forwards Riley Popplewell and Michaela Gibbons have had the hot hand over the past few games. Popplewell is currently third on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game and coming into the week led the conference in field goal percentage (.560). The junior out of Indiana ranks second in the conference in rebounds per game (8.5) and ranks top-25 nationally in offensive rebounds. Gibbons has shot her way into a starting role having reached double figures in three consecutive games.

Presbyterian is coming off a 79-40 road loss to High Point. The Blue Hose shot 36 percent from the field and just 27 percent from beyond the three-point arch during the game. Kaci Hall led the Blue Hose in scoring with 13 points and Bria Gibbs added 10 points in the blowout loss. Presbyterian's only conference win this season came on January 8 against Longwood. The Blue Hose easily won 81-66 in front of their home supporters.

Fans can follow the action on www.gobluehose.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).

The Spartans return home on Tuesday, January 15 to face UNC Asheville at 6:00 p.m.

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