The USC Upstate women’s basketball team begins a stretch of three straight home games Saturday afternoon when it hosts the Maryland Eastern Shore Lady Hawks at 2 p.m. from the Hodge Center.
Upstate is coming off a two-game road trip at Alabama and Western Carolina, and are 4-5 overall heading into the weekend. The Spartans dropped a 63-59 decision in overtime last Saturday at Western Carolina as Sharmayne Edwards scored a game-high 16 points. Edwards was one of three Upstate players to finish with 10 or more points as Maddie Herr tied her career-high of 12 and Brittany Starling added 10. Starling also picked up her second double-double of the season after tying for a game-high 10 rebounds.
Edwards and Starling continue to lead the squad in scoring this season as both are averaging in double-figures. Edwards pours in 14.0 points per game to rank eighth in the A-Sun while Starling averages 11.3 points. Starling sits seventh in the league in rebounding as she pulls down a team-leading 7.2 per game. Brittany Clency is fourth in the league in assists with 3.4 per contest.
As a team, the Spartans are first in the A-Sun in rebounding and offensive rebounds, second in steals and third in scoring.
Maryland Eastern Shore has won its last four games and comes in with a 4-4 record on the season. The Lady Hawks are led by 10th-year head coach Fred Batchelor, who is 128-174 at UMES and 188-221 in 14 seasons as a head coach. Jessica Long and Alexis Udoji are both scoring in double-figures this season with Long averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game. Udoji contributes 10.6 points and leads the team with 9.0 rebounds per game.
Upstate leads the all-time series over UMES 1-0. The two teams began the series last year as the Spartans opened their season with an 87-83 victory over the Lady Hawks in Princess Anne, Md. In the contest, Edwards led all scorers with 24 points playing in her first game at Upstate. Alex Stanford (15) and Raven Jefferson (14), also making their Spartan debuts, each scored in double-digits. Shelby Hicks grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. The game is being televised on ESPN3. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate women’s basketball Twitter page (@UpstateWB).
Upstate continues its home stand Wednesday evening against Morehead State with a 7 p.m. opening tipoff.