Spartans Late Spark not enough as Charleston Southern Holds on 78-75

Spartans Late Spark not enough as Charleston Southern Holds on 78-75

Spartanburg, S.C. – For the second consecutive game the USC Upstate women's basketball team saw a late lead be withered away by an opposing team, this time it was Charleston Southern who snuck out a 78-75 victory inside the G.B. Hodge Center on Saturday afternoon.

With the loss the Spartans fall to 5-11 overall and 1-4 in Big South play, Charleston Southern improves to 5-12 overall and 2-4 in Big South competition.


  • The Spartans have now lost three consecutive games for the second time this season.
  • USC Upstate is now 0-2 in conference play when wearing white and 0-3 in conference home games.
  • Michaela Gibbons scored a career high 21 points and made seven three-pointers in the loss.
  • Brianna Lewis led the Spartans in scoring for the second consecutive game with 22 points. The junior guard also led the team with 6 assists and 6 steals.
  • Riley Popplewell finished with 11 points and a team high 6 rebounds and two blocks. Popplewell now the ninth person in school history to have at least 67 blocked shots. The Indiana native needs just four offensive rebounds to move into ninth place in the school record book.
  • USC Upstate had 16 steals and forced Charleston Southern to turn the ball over 22 times in the game.
  • Shelby Wilbanks led Charleston Southern in scoring with 22 points. Ke'Asia Jackson added 17 points and a team leading five assists and four steals. Weknyne Dumorne contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win for the Buccaneers.
  • The Spartans shot 45 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the arch and 63 percent from the free throw line.
  • Charleston Southern shot 54 percent for the game, 40 percent from three-point range, and 40 percent from the free throw line.
  • USC Upstate scored 24 points off of turnovers and 12 points on fast break opportunities.
  • Charleston Southern out rebounded the Spartans 45-25 and won the battle in the paint 38-36. The Buccaneers bench outscored USC Upstate 31-7.


  • Charleston Southern may have won the tip, but six seconds into the game Lewis stole the ball from Jackson and scored the opening bucket of the game.
  • The turnover sparked a 10-2 Spartan run that was highlighted by a pair of three pointers from Gibbons.
  • The Spartans kept the pressure up and held a 17-8 advantage going into the first media timeout.
  • Out of the timeout break the Buccaneers went on a 5-2 run to close the scoring gap to within six points.
  • Gibbons answered with a three pointer to halt the run and the Spartans were able to hold off the Buccaneers the remainder of the quarter.
  • USC Upstate went into the second quarter leading 29-20. Gibbons finished the quarter with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.


  • The start of the second quarter was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams. Kathryn Kirkwood grabbed a pass from DeNisha Swain and scored an easy layup, giving the Spartans a 38-28 lead with 6:07 to go in the half.
  • The Spartan offense went quiet and Charleston Southern took advantage going on a 15-0 run. The late run gave the Buccaneers a 43-38 advantage with just 57 seconds to go in the half.
  • Kirkwood hauled in an offensive rebound and made a layup to end 5:30 minute scoring drought for the Spartans.
  • Charleston Southern went into the half time break leading 43-40.
  • The Buccaneers shot 57 percent from the field and held USC Upstate to just 38 percent shooting in the second stanza.


  • Shelby Wilbanks stole the ball to begin the second half and scored an easy jump shot as Charleston Southern held a 45-40 lead just seconds into the third quarter.
  • The turnover, however, sparked a 7-2 run by USC Upstate and was capped off with a three pointer by Anda Kuzmina. The quick run gave the Spartans a 48-47 advantage.
  • The Spartan offense seemed to be clicking again as they ended the quarter on a 16-10 run. USC Upstate scored 8 points off of turnovers and 4 points on fast break opportunities.
  • Lewis scored 11 points in the third quarter and USC Upstate shot 57 percent from the field. The Spartans defense held Charleston Southern to just 41 percent shooting in the third stanza.


  • Popplewell scored the Spartans first basket of the fourth quarter and a possession later Lewis nailed a three-pointer to give USC Upstate a 12-point advantage with eight minutes to go in the game.
  • The Spartans offense fell silence once more as Charleston Southern went on 13-0 run over six minutes of game time.
  • After making a layup, Popplewell stepped to the free throw line and gave the Spartans a 72-70 advantage with 2:01 to go in the contest.
  • Ahlea Myers and Dumorne scored on back-to-back possessions for the Buccaneers as they reclaimed the lead.
  • With 49 seconds to go in the game Lewis dribbled into the paint and found a wide open Gibbons at the top of the arch. Gibbons drained the three pointer and gave the Spartans a 75-74 advantage.
  • Charleston Southern answered with a jumper by Wilbanks to reclaim the lead once and for all.
  • Popplewell fouled out for the second consecutive game with 10 seconds to go in the contest.
  • Wilbanks missed both free throw shots but Racheal Burns was able to grab the offensive rebound.
  • After a foul by Kuzmina, Burns stepped to the line and missed the first free throw attempt. Burns made the second attempt giving the Buccaneers a 78-75 lead with eight seconds to go in the game.
  • Kuzmina had a great look at the end of the game but the ball bounced off the rim.
  • USC Upstate shot 30 percent from the field in the final quarter, while Charleston Southern shot 53 percent from the field and 66 percent from three point range.


  • The USC Upstate women's basketball team will hit the road this coming Tuesday night, with a road trip to Gardner-Webb. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

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