The sixth-seeded USC Upstate women’s basketball team starts play in the A-Sun Tournament Friday evening as it travels to Highland Heights, Ky. to face third-seed Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. inside Regents Hall.
Upstate received the sixth seed after finishing the regular season with a 14-15 overall record and 6-8 mark in the conference. The Spartans are facing Northern Kentucky for the third time this season and second in the last week after concluding the regular season against NKU last Saturday in Spartanburg. The Norse have won both meetings this season by scores of 77-74 in Highland Heights and 83-60 at the Hodge Center.
In the last meeting, Brittany Starling reached a career milestone by becoming the sixth player in school history to record 1,000 points and 700 rebounds for her career. She is also the 15th player in Upstate history to score 1,000 career points. Entering Friday night’s contest, Starling currently sits at 1,006 points and 705 rebounds. She was rewarded for her performance this season on Wednesday by being named Second Team All-Conference by the A-Sun.
Maddie Herr scored a career-high 20 points last week against Northern Kentucky on a career-best 6-of-13 shooting and 5-for-9 from three to lead the Spartans offensively. Starling added her 11th double-double of the season with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Sharmayne Edwards added 14 points.
Edwards and Starling lead Upstate offensively this season with Edwards averaging a team-best 13.4 points per game. Starling is scoring 12.5 points per game and leads the team, while ranking third in the league, in rebounding with 9.1 per contest. Brittany Clency ranks eighth in the league in assists as the junior dishes out 2.7 per game.
The Norse posted a 17-12 record during the regular season and finished conference play at 8-6. NKU is led by third-year head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who is 50-38 with Northern Kentucky and 167-77 in eight years overall. Melody Doss and Christine Roush are both averaging in double-figures this season as Doss leads the team with 13.6 points per game and Roush contributes 13.2 points. Kaitlyn Gerrety grabs a team-leading 5.4 rebounds per contest and Rianna Gayheart tops the team in assists with 3.5 per game.
NKU leads the all-time series over the Spartans 6-0 dating back to the 2012-13 season. Northern Kentucky also holds a 3-0 advantage when playing 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).