Women’s Basketball Preview: Charleston Southern

Women’s Basketball Preview: Charleston Southern

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's basketball team will journey down to Charleston Southern for just the second time since the turn of the millennium.

USC Upstate (6-15, 2-8 BSC) and Charleston Southern (7-14, 4-6 BSC) are meeting for the second time this season and the 12th time overall in program history. The Buccaneers stole a game away from the Spartans inside the G.B. Hodge Center on January 19. USC Upstate held the lead for the majority of the game but were outscored 21-11 in the final quarter of play, giving Charleston Southern a 78-75 victory. Starting point guard Brianna Lewis (Chicago, Ill.) dropped a team high 22 points and sophomore Michaela Gibbons (Troutman, N.C.) contributed a career high 21 points in the loss to the Buccaneers.

Overall the Spartans hold an 8-3 advantage in the All-time series. The last time USC Upstate traveled down to Charleston Southern, the Spartans sailed away with an 80-68 victory on Nov. 16, 2007.

USC Upstate is currently coming off a 61-41 road loss to Campbell. The Spartans have struggled on the road for much of the 2018-19 campaign, acquiring a 2-11 record in road contests. Outside of the G.B. Hodge Center the Spartans are averaging just 62 points per contest and are being outscored on average by 12 points on the road. Tuesday night's loss to Campbell was the Spartans third loss in a row in which they had not reached the 45 point threshold. USC Upstate actually had a chance to win the game but Campbell outscored the Spartans 24-6 in the final quarter of action to win the game.

The Spartans still have a trio of players that average double figure scoring for the season. Lewis leads the team in a number of categories including, points per game (18.0), assists (111) and minutes per game (37.1). Riley Popplewell (Union Mills, Ind.) is coming off her tenth career double-double on Tuesday night. The Indiana native is currently averaging 11.9 points per contest and has hauled in a team leading 176 rebounds this season. The junior forward also leads the team in field goal percentage (.533) and blocks (24). Senior guard DeNisha Swain (Jacksonville, Fla.) currently leads the team in steals (62) and three-point percentage (.330). The native of the Sunshine State is also second on the team in assists (65) and third on the team in scoring (10.6 points per game).

This is the second game of a three game homestand for Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers kicked off the homestand in style with a 70-59 plundering of UNC Asheville on Tuesday evening. Charleston Southern senior guard Breannah Bretches scored 20 points and paced a Buccaneers offense that shot 44 percent from the floor. A win on Saturday would give the Buccaneers their longest winning streak of the season.

Charleston Southern is led offensively by Ke'Asia Jackson who averages 12.8 points per game and has 53 total assists on the season. Weknyne Dumorne leads the team in numerous statistical categories including, rebounds (115), rebounding average (5.8) and blocks (24). Rachel Burns is currently second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.1 points per game and leads the team in steals with 51.  

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

USC Upstate will remain on the road with a Tuesday night matchup at Longwood University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 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).