DeLand, Fla. – The USC Upstate women’s basketball team finishes up a three-game road trip in conference play Saturday afternoon as the Spartans take on Stetson at 1 p.m. from the Edmunds Center.
Upstate enters the contest with a 9-10 overall record and 1-3 mark in the conference after dropping a 79-61 decision at Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday evening. Raven Jefferson scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and added three rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal to lead the Spartans. Jefferson was one of three Upstate players to finish with 10 or more points as Sharmayne Edwards finished with 12 and Brittany Starling 11. Travonda Haddock had a game-high eight rebounds.
Jefferson became the third Spartan this season to score at least 20 points in a game joining Edwards and Starling. Both Edwards and Starling have posted three 20-point scoring efforts.
With 11 points and six rebounds against Florida Gulf Coast, Starling inched closer to moving up the Upstate career rankings. The junior is just 13 rebounds away from passing Heather Abrams for seventh-place in career rebounds and 24 points to move past Tammy Smith into 15th place in career scoring.
Edwards and Starling lead the Spartans offensively this season with Edwards pouring in a team-leading 12.9 points per game. Starling chips in 12.6 points and is third in the conference in rebounding with a team-high 9.4 per contest. She ranks in the top 60 nationally in double-doubles and rebounds per game. Clency contributes 2.8 assists per game.
Stetson currently sits at 14-4 on the season and 3-1 in the league. The Hatters are under the direction of seventh-year head coach Lynn Bria, who is 122-91 at Stetson and 275-304 in 20 seasons overall. Brianti Saunders is one of four Hatters scoring in double-figures with a team-best 13.3 points per game, and is joined by Amber Porter (13.2), Jama Sharp (13.1) and Myeisha Hall (13.0). Porter leads the team in rebounding with 7.3 per game while Sharp dishes out a league-best 4.2 assists per contest.
Stetson leads the all-time series over Upstate 11-4 and have won the last six meetings in the series. The Hatters swept the Spartans last season by scores of 78-64 in DeLand and 79-66 in Spartanburg. Clency averaged 11.5 points per game against Stetson in 2013-14 and Shelby Hicks added 10.0 points. Hicks had a team-high 11 points in the first meeting and Jefferson followed with 14 points at the Hodge Center.
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).
The Spartans return to the Hodge Center next Thursday for a 7 p.m. contest against Jacksonville.