Jacksonville, Fla. – The USC Upstate women’s basketball team finishes a three-game road trip Saturday afternoon as it battles the Jacksonville Dolphins at 2 p.m. from Swisher Gymnasium in a matchup featuring two teams tied for fourth place in the A-Sun standings.
The Spartans improved to 12-12 on the season and 4-5 in league play after picking up a 59-50 victory Thursday evening over North Florida highlighted by a team-high 17 points from Sharmayne Edwards. Brittany Starling picked up her eighth double-double of the season, and 20th of her career, with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Brittany Clency had 11 points in the first half. Maddie Herr came off the bench in the second half to score eight points and Travonda Haddock distributed a career-high five assists.
Starling moved past Gwen Proctor on Thursday for 6th place all-time in career rebounds at Upstate with 656. With her 15 points in the win, Starling currently sits at 937 career points. She needs just 63 points to become the 15th player in program history to join the 1,000 point club.
Edwards and Starling are both averaging over 10.0 points per game this season with Edwards leading the team at 12.8 points. Edwards is 13th in the A-Sun in scoring while Starling chips in 12.3 points. Starling leads the league in field-goal percentage at 51.6% and is third in rebounding with a team-high 8.9 per contest. Clency leads the team in assists, and is 10th in the conference, with 2.6 per game.
Jacksonville enters the matchup 9-13 overall and holds an identical 4-5 mark in the A-Sun after defeating Kennesaw State 73-70 Thursday night in Jacksonville. Sherranda Reddick and Briona Brown lead the Dolphins on offense this season with 13.6 and 10.9 points, respectively. Reddick ranks eighth in the league in scoring while Brown is in the top 20. Kimberly Dawkins grabs a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game and Kayla Gordon collects 7.4. Ladeyah Forte’ dishes out a team-leading 2.9 assists per contest. The Dolphins are under the direction of second-year head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who is 22-30 during her tenure at JU.
Upstate holds an 8-6 lead in the all-time series over Jacksonville and has won each of the last three meetings. The series is tied 3-3 when playing in Jacksonville after the Spartans held off a late JU charge last season for a 66-58 win. Upstate won the first meeting this year back on Jan. 29 after Shelby Hicks’s buzzer-beating jumper gave it a 66-64 victory in Spartanburg. Hicks finished the game with nine points off the bench while Starling had a game-high 16. Edwards contributed 15 points and seven rebounds. Haddock and Raven Jefferson added eight and seven points apiece.
In last year’s meeting in Jacksonville, the Spartans led by as many as 23 points en route to the eight-point victory. Clency led all scorers with 18 points and made nine free-throws for the second straight contest. She was 9-for-10 at the charity stripe and added three assists and two rebounds. Lauren Bogle had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.
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 home for the first of two games next Thursday, Feb. 19 when they host Stetson at 7 p.m.