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Feb. 11, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - All 12 USC Upstate women's basketball players scored and the team shot a hefty 50 percent for the second straight game as Upstate stretched a 15-point halftime lead to 30 points by the end of regulation and Upstate ran away with an 88-58 win over Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Hodge Center on Thursday night.
The Spartans (16-8 overall, 10-5 A-Sun) scored a season-high 46 points in the first half and shot 34-for-68 from the field in the game to post their second straight win and sweep the season series from Lipscomb for the first time in school history. The Lady Bisons (4-22 overall, 2-14 A-Sun) never came within 15 points in the second half.
"I thought we did a good job on the defensive end creating some easy shots for ourselves," Upstate head coach Tammy George said. "We got a lot of turnovers, got into transition and got some easy points. We've been talking about playing with a lead and having the killer instinct to put a team away. I thought we did a good job of that (Thursday)."
In the first half, junior Sharniece Wadelington (Greenville, S.C./UNC Greensboro) sparked the Spartans offensively, scoring 10 points and hitting two 3-pointers, her first 10-point game since the death of her brother, DeVaughn on Jan. 15.
"Obviously, with what she has gone through, it's hard to bounce back," George said. "People take different amounts of time to come back from things like that, but she has slowly but surely come back. That's the funny thing, she came up to me at one point in the game and said, `Coach, I think I'm back.' She was really the old Sharniece and it was good to see that. I think she just needed some minutes and it kind of got her back in the game."
A 15-2 run early in the first half helped the Spartans take 20-8 lead after a fastbreak layup by Wadelington on a dish from Lauren McRoberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) with 10:38 left. The Bisons cut the lead to seven, but Wadelington answered with a trey to bring the lead back to 10. The Bisons cut the lead back to six twice more, but Wadelington answered with another three, starting a 10-0 run that was capped with a layup from junior Chelsea McMillan (East Gadsden, Fla./Santa Fe C.C.), giving the Spartans a 37-21 lead with 4:28 left. The Bisons never got back within 10 points and a 3-pointer from sophomore Kendra Wallace (Hurrivane, W.Va./Nitro) sent the Spartans to the locker room with a 46-31 lead.
In the second half, Upstate kept working at improving the lead, extending it to 20 points on a three-point play from McMillan with 14:33 left. An 8-0 run brought the lead to 27 points after a layup by McRoberts with 8:35 left and it extended to 30 points for the first time after a free throw by senior Courtney Hawkins (Greer, S.C./Greer) with 5:23 left. A pair of free throws from senior Koko Richardson (Mary Esther, Fla./Santa Fe C.C.) with 3:06 left helped the Spartans take a game-high 36-point lead at 86-50 with 3:06 left. The Bisons finished the game on an 8-2 run to close out the 88-58 Spartan win.
"Basically, we were just looking for the open person and we started to really play defense," Wadelington said. "We were able to pass it around and the open people were knocking down their shots."
All 12 players entered the scoring column for the Spartans with McMillan leading the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season. Freshman Tee'Ara Copney (Asheville, N.C./T.C. Roberson), playing with a bandage on her right hand to tape down two of her fingers, scored 15 points, connecting on 3-of-6 3-pointers, and she added five rebounds, two assists, a career-high two blocks and four steals. Wadelington scored 14 points, one off her career high, to go with six rebounds and a steal. She hit two treys and shot 60 (6-of-10) percent from the field.
Both Daniel and Hawkins scored nine points, with Hawkins adding six assists and four rebounds and Daniel notching four assists and five rebounds. Junior Shadae Thompson (Greenville, S.C./Anderson University) added six points and four rebounds and Wallace added five points and two assists. Richardson posted two points, four assists and two steals and freshman Morgan Goss (Ellenwood, Ga./Mays) posted three points and two rebounds. Freshman Christine Nyobe (Bertoua, Cameroon/The Miller School) posted two points, McRoberts added four points and four rebounds and junior Kim Pitman (Plumtree, N.C./Avery) added one point.
Jenna Bartsokas led Lipscomb, scoring 19 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and adding three assists and two steals. Morgan Faulkner added 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists and Anna Bowers posted nine points, three assists and two steals.
The Spartans wrap up their set with the Nashville schools on Saturday when Belmont comes to the Hodge for a 4:30 p.m. A-Sun game as part of a doubleheader with the men's teams. The men's game tips at 2 p.m.
Sophomore Kendra Wallace became the second player in school history to record two 50-trey seasons with her lone trey of the game.
Junior Chelsea McMillan needs entered the school's single-season top 10 list with her fourth of 10 rebounds on the night ... Her 255 rebounds establish a new D-I era record.
Junior Chelsea McMillan has double-doubles in six of the last seven games.
In four career games against Lipscomb, junior Chelsea McMillan averages 219.8 points and 10,0 rebounds per game.