Upstate Continues Conference Road Swing Thursday at Florida Gulf Coast

January 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

The USC Upstate women’s basketball team remains on the road this week beginning Thursday night as it heads to Fort Myers, Fla. to take on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at 7 p.m. inside Alico Arena.

Upstate dropped a 77-74 decision to Northern Kentucky last Saturday in its first A-Sun road game of the season, falling to 9-9 overall and 1-2 in the league. Brittany Starling notched her seventh double-double of the season, and 19th of her career, against the Norse with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Starling was one of three Spartans to score 10 or more points as Brittany Clency tied her season-high of 18 while Mar’Lisa Braxton came off the bench to score her highest point total at Upstate with 12.

Starling moved past Jametria Hannah for 8th place all-time in career rebounds with 615 and is just 34 points away from passing Tammy Smith for 15th in career scoring.

Starling and Sharmayne Edwards are both averaging in double-digits this season to lead the Spartans offensively. Edwards is tied for ninth in scoring for the A-Sun with 13.0 points per game and Starling adds 12.7 points. Starling ranks third in the league in rebounding at 9.6 per game while Clency sits seventh in assists with a team-leading 2.8 per contest.

Florida Gulf Coast enters the contest in first place in the A-Sun with a 16-2 overall record and 3-0 mark in conference play. The Eagles are under the direction of 13th-year head coach Karl Smesko, who has a record of 330-66 at FGCU and 391-93 overall record in 16 seasons as a coach. Florida Gulf Coast has three players averaging in double-figures this season led by Whitney Knight with 15.5 points per game, and is joined by Kaneisha Atwater (13.3) and Stephanie Haas (11.0). Knight also leads the team in rebounding with 6.1 per game while DyTiesha Dunson contributes 3.6 assists per contest.

The Eagles hold an 11-2 lead in the all-time series over Upstate. FGCU won both games last year by scores of 72-45 in Fort Myers and 76-69 in Spartanburg. Clency averaged 15.0 points per game last season against Florida Gulf Coast and Starling added 10.5 points and 9.0 rebounds. In the second meeting last season at the Hodge Center, Starling finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds while Clency compiled a 19-point scoring performance.

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 close out their three-game road trip Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Stetson.

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