Upstate Entertains Norfolk State Saturday to Begin New Year

January 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate women’s basketball team opens the New Year Saturday afternoon as it welcomes the Norfolk State Spartans to the Hodge Center for a 1 p.m. non-conference matchup.

The Spartans enter with a 7-6 overall record while Norfolk State currently sits at 2-9 on the season.

Upstate had its three-game winning streak come to an end Tuesday night as it dropped a 61-60 decision at College of Charleston. Against the Cougars, Brittany Starling compiled one of the best performances of her career with 30 points, a career-high, and 14 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season and 16th overall. Starling became the first Spartan since Tee’Ara Copney at Mercer on Feb. 4, 2012 to score at least 30 points after shooting 12-of-19 from the field and 6-for-9 at the free-throw line. Sharmayne Edwards added 11 points in the one-point defeat.

Edwards and Starling are both guiding Upstate offensively this season with both averaging over 10.0 points per game. Edwards ranks eighth in the A-Sun in scoring with a team-best 13.5 points per game while Starling is ninth at 13.2 points. Starling tops the team in rebounding at 8.9 per game to sit fourth in the league in that category. Brittany Clency is also sixth in the A-Sun in assists with a team-best 3.2 per contest.

Norfolk State is under the direction of sixth-year head coach Debra Clark, who is 46-106 during her tenure. She presently holds a career record of 257-300 in 20 seasons as a head coach. NSU is led on offense by Rae Corbo with 21.3 points per game. Corbo is one of two Norfolk State players averaging in double-digits as Kayla Roberts pours in 10.5 points per game. Nia Roberts leads the team in rebounding with 8.8 per game, and Jazamine Gray contributes 3.0 assists per contest.

Norfolk State leads the all-time series over the Spartans 4-1 dating back to the 1990-91 season. NSU won the first four games before Upstate captured the last meeting 71-64 in overtime during the 2012-13 campaign. Norfolk State has won both games played in 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 wrap up non-conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at Furman with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

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