Upstate Women's Basketball Begins 2015-16 Season this Weekend at Norfolk State, Maryland Eastern Shore
The USC Upstate women’s basketball team tips off the 2015-16 campaign, its 42nd overall season, this weekend as it travels north for a pair of road contests against Norfolk State and Maryland Eastern Shore.
Upstate starts the weekend out Friday evening at 6 p.m. versus Norfolk State followed by a 2 p.m. matchup against Maryland Eastern Shore Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans are coming off a 14-16 season in 2014-15 and went 6-8 against A-Sun opponents to finish in a tie for fourth place in the conference standings. Senior center Brittany Starling was named Second Team All-Conference last season and was a unanimous choice for Preseason All-Conference this year.
Starling is one of four starters returning this season for Upstate as well as senior Brittany Clency, senior Travonda Haddock and junior Raven Jefferson. Overall, the Spartans have seven letterwinners back including the four starters. The other three returning letterwinners are senior Kristen Dickerson, and sophomores Coco Ritter and A’Lexxus Davis. Upstate must replace one starter in guard Sharmayne Edwards, who led the team in scoring last season at 13.0 points per game.
The Spartans also welcome in seven newcomers this season in Vanessa Agrusa, Victoria Hadler, Dae Dae Jordan, Rose Robinson, DeNisha Swain, Tamera Thorpe and Bailey Wensler.
Norfolk State also finished 14-16 last season and went 11-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. NSU is returning three starters off last year’s team including MEAC Rookie of the Year Kayla Roberts, who averaged 12.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Norfolk State also returns Koryn Lawrence and Amber Brown to its starting lineup as Lawrence averaged 9.9 points per game and Brown 3.1. NSU is under the direction of seventh-year head coach Debra Clark.
Maryland Eastern Shore posted a 14-17 overall record last year and added an 8-8 record against opponents from the MEAC. UMES is led by 11th-year head coach Fred Batchelor. Maryland Eastern Shore has three starters back off last season’s squad including senior Alexis Udoji as she turned in 9.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in 2014-15.
Upstate leads the all-time series over Maryland Eastern Shore 2-0 but trail 4-2 to Norfolk State. The Spartans defeated Norfolk State 70-58 and UMES 60-38 last season in Spartanburg.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. The game Friday evening at Norfolk State is being streamed on www.nsuspartans.com, while Saturday’s matchup with Maryland Eastern Shore can be watched on the school’s YouTube channel. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate women’s basketball Twitter page (@UpstateWB).
The Spartans open their home schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. against Bob Jones.