Women's Basketball: Upstate Hosts First Place Florida Gulf Coast Monday

February 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

The top two teams in the Atlantic Sun Conference will square off on Monday night in the Hodge Center as the second place USC Upstate Spartans welcome league-leading Florida Gulf Coast at 7 p.m.

Upstate enters the game with a 17-8 overall record and 8-2 mark in league play following a 73-58 victory over Stetson on Saturday. Travonda Haddock led Upstate with 15 points, followed by Kristen Dickerson and Raven Jefferson with 14 points each. A’Lexxus Davis pulled down a new career-high 10 rebounds. Brittany Clency tied a season-high with seven assists.

Upstate leads the Atlantic Sun in scoring, rebounding, free throw attempts, free throws made, field goals made and field goal attempts. The Spartans are second in steals per game and third in assists per game and blocks per game. Brittany Starling is the league leader in rebounds and is second in scoring and free throws. Starling is seventh nationally in rebounds and eighth in rebounds per game. Haddock is third in blocks and 10th in rebounds. Dickerson is fourth in steals as well as free throws.

Florida Gulf Coast is under the direction of head coach Karl Smesko. The Eagles are 22-4 overall and 10-0 in league play while winning their last 15 games. FGCU is led offensively by Kaneisha Atwater with 14.3 points per game. Whitney Knight is the leading rebounder with 5.8 rebounds per game and is also averaging double figures with 12.6 points per game.

Monday’s game is the 17th all-time meeting between the schools with Florida Gulf Coast holding a 14-2 edge. The Eagles have won the last nine contests. Upstate’s two wins in the series came at the Hodge Center on Feb. 25, 2010 (86-78) and Feb. 28, 2011 (75-74).

Live stats will be available on www.upstatespartans.com. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Updates will also be posted to the Upstate women’s basketball Twitter page (@UpstateWB).

The Spartans begin their final road trip of the 2015-16 regular season on Saturday, traveling to North Florida for a 2 p.m. start.

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