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It may seem like just another win, but in February of 2008, the wins were coming few and far between for the USC Upstate women's basketball team. Nearing a school-record losing streak, it took a bit of Hodge magic and maybe a tad bit of serendipity for the Spartans to win their first A-Sun game.
The Spartans, in their first year of Division I play, were experiencing growing pains, decimated by injuries and down to seven players when head coach Tammy George made a call to former walk-on Jessica McGlothlen, asking her to rejoin the team.
McGlothlen, in the midst of an internship with the U.S. Rangers, wouldn't be able to practice twice a week due to her schedule, but she would be available.
"It was a real hard decision for me to make to not come back at the beginning of the season," McGlothlen said. "The day Coach George called me, my mom and I had gone to the bank and we got wristbands and I got a green one that said, `Hope' on it. That night coach called and said she needed me. It felt good to be a part of the first win in the A-Sun."
On Feb. 18, she was called off the bench with 11:30 left in the Spartans game with the Lady Bisons. Leading by only a point, the Spartans broke the backs of the Bisons as McGlothlen hit back-to-back 3-pointers. The Bisons could get no closer than seven the rest of the way and as the buzzer sounded, George hugged McGlothlen.
"That was major," George said. "She was a big boost for us off the bench. That was the whole game plan. They took the inside away from us in the second half and they let us shoot it. Jess came out with that mindset and she did."
Courtney Hawkins, who led the Spartans with 26 points in the game, was similarly glowing in her thoughts about McGlothlen's play. "That's what she does," she said. "She's a 3-point shooter. Fortunately, she hit the wide open shot and the not-so-wide-open shot. She had it going."
After all, in the house built by Dr. G.B. Hodge's persistence, what better way to win Upstate's first game in a new era than through the Spartans' perseverance?