For the third time during the Division I era, the USC Upstate women’s basketball team will play in the postseason as the Spartans have accepted a bid to play in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) Tournament, it was announced Monday evening.
Upstate will travel to Northern Kentucky for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday at BB&T Arena. The contest will be televised on ESPN3.
The Norse and Spartans are familiar with each other as Northern Kentucky was a member of the Atlantic Sun until this season. Northern Kentucky leads the all-time series 7-0 and is 4-0 against Upstate at home.
In 2015-16, Upstate went 20-11 overall and 10-4 in the Atlantic Sun. The 20 wins match its highest win total in the Division I era, also reached during 2010-11. The Spartans are led by Atlantic Sun First Team All-Conference and All-Academic Team member Brittany Starling, who averages 15.4 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. Starling was named to the College Sports Madness All-Mid Major Fourth Team late last week. Second Team All-Conference selection Brittany Clency (10.6 ppg) and Kristen Dickerson (10.5 ppg) are also averaging in double-figures.
Northern Kentucky finished 19-13 overall this season and went 9-9 in the Horizon League.
The Spartans are appearing in the WBI for the third time in program history with previous contests during the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons. Upstate lost 103-72 at Elon in the 2011 tournament and 85-71 at College of Charleston in 2014.
Tickets for the game are $5 for adults, $4 for youth and are available at the Alice Sparks Ticket Office at BB&T Arena. Fans can also purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com.