The USC Upstate women’s basketball team concludes its regular season Saturday afternoon as it hosts the Northern Kentucky Norse at 2 p.m. on Senior Day.
Prior to the start of the game, Upstate will be recognizing its four seniors in Lauren Bogle, Sharmayne Edwards, Maddie Herr and Shelby Hicks. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats at 1:40 p.m. for the pre-game ceremony.
The Spartans closed out their road schedule on Thursday with a 76-67 victory over Lipscomb as four players finished in double-figures led by Brittany Starling with a double-double on 18 points and 12 rebounds. Brittany Clency finished the game shooting 7-of-14 for 17 points while also dishing out five assists. Raven Jefferson added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Edwards had 12 points. Upstate tied its season-high of 23 made free-throws including a 20-for-21 mark in the second half.
With her 18 points and 12 rebounds at Lipscomb, Starling moved closer to becoming the sixth player in school history to record 1,000 points and 700 rebounds for their career. Starling needs 10 points and six rebounds on Saturday to join the club occupied by Deedra Howard, Dawn Bowden, Yvette Moore, Yakeeshia Ross and Chelsea McMillan.
Edwards and Starling are both averaging over 10.0 points per game this season as Edwards leads the Spartans with 13.4 points while Starling contributes 12.4. Starling currently leads the conference in field-goal percentage at 52.0% and is third in rebounding with 9.0 per game. She is also 75th or better nationally in double-doubles and rebounds per game. Clency dishes out a team-leading 2.6 assists per game to rank eighth in the league in that category.
Northern Kentucky enters the weekend with a 16-12 overall record and 7-6 mark in conference play. The Norse are under the direction of third-year head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who is 49-38 at NKU and 166-77 in seven seasons as a coach. Melody Doss leads Northern Kentucky offensively with 13.8 points per game and is joined in double-digits by Christine Roush at 12.8 points. Kaitlyn Gerrety pulls down a team-best 5.2 rebounds per contest and Rianna Gayheart contributes 3.4 assists per game.
The Norse leads the all-time series over Upstate 5-0 including a 77-74 victory in Highland Heights, Ky. on Jan. 17. NKU also holds a 2-0 advantage when playing at the Hodge Center. The Spartans opened A-Sun play last season with a 76-60 defeat to Northern Kentucky as Starling had a team-high 15 points and Clency scored 14.
In the first meeting this season, Starling compiled a double-double with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead three Upstate players in double-digits. Clency tied her season-high of 18 points while grabbing eight rebounds and Mar’Lisa Braxton came off the bench to score 12 points.
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 first round of the 2015 A-Sun Women’s Basketball Championship is scheduled for Friday, Mar. 6.