The USC Upstate women’s basketball team hits the road for the first time in conference play this weekend as it heads to Highland Heights, Ky. Saturday evening to face the Northern Kentucky Norse at 7 p.m. from The Bank of Kentucky Center.
Sharmayne Edwards came off the bench on Wednesday to score a team-high 20 points to help lead Upstate to a 71-68 victory over Lipscomb at the Hodge Center. Edwards was one of four players to finish in double-figures with Brittany Starling picking up her sixth double-double of the season on 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Brittany Clency and Raven Jefferson added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Clency and Jefferson were joined by Shelby Hicks as all three had six rebounds.
Starling reached a career milestone in the Lipscomb contest as the junior became the ninth Spartan in program history to record 600 career rebounds, joining Yakeeshia Ross, Yvette Moore, Deedra Howard, Chelsea McMillan, Dawn Bowden, Gwen Proctor, Heather Abrams and Jametria Hannah. She needs just five rebounds to surpass Hannah for eighth all-time at Upstate. Starling also moved past Kendra Wallace into 16th place in career scoring with 851 points.
Edwards and Starling are both scoring over 10.0 points per game this season with Edwards leading the team at 13.4 points per game to rank sixth in the A-Sun. Starling pours in 12.2 points and is third in the league in rebounding with a team-best 9.5 per contest. Clency sits sixth in the conference in assists with 2.8 per game.
Northern Kentucky is 10-7 overall and 1-1 in the A-Sun after falling to Kennesaw State 66-58 on Wednesday night. The Norse opened conference play last Saturday with an 81-70 victory over Lipscomb. NKU is led by third-year head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who is 43-33 at Northern Kentucky and 160-72 in seven seasons overall. Melody Doss and Christine Roush currently lead the Norse offensively as Doss is averaging 13.1 points per game while Roush contributes 11.8 points. Kaitlyn Gerrety tops the team in rebounding with 5.7 per game while Rianna Gayheart dishes out a team-best 2.8 assists per contest.
NKU holds a 4-0 series lead over the Spartans dating back to the 2012-13 season. Northern Kentucky defeated Upstate twice last season by scores of 76-60 in Spartanburg and 71-58 in Highland Heights.
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 continue their three-game road trip next Thursday when they head to the state of Florida to take on Florida Gulf Coast at 7 p.m.