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Nov. 13, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Once again, the USC Upstate women's basketball team outscored its Bowl Championship Series opponent in the second half, but it wasn't enough, as Wake Forest used a 10-point first half lead to coast to a 58-51 win at the Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Spartans shot 41 percent from the field and 3-point land in the second half, helping them outscore the Demon Deacons, 30-27.
Freshman Oceana Jackson (Carnesville, Ga./Franklin County) led the Spartans (0-2 overall) with 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Freshman Tiffany Whiting (Troutman, N.C./South Iredell) added 11 points and five rebounds, including three 3-pointers. Sophomore Courtney Hawkins (Greer, S.C./Greer) added 10 points, three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Shanea Wyant (Jefferson, Ind./Lafayette Jefferson) posted nine points, six in the second half.
"In the second half, we came out and we were really pushing tempo," Upstate head coach Tammy George said. "We ended up scoring in transition. That's how we got high-percentage shots from Shanea (Wyant). That just opened up some easy shots for us."
Down by 19 with 5:34 left, the Spartans started to cut into the deficit, with Jackson and Wyant hitting layups before a 3-pointer from Hawkins cut the lead to 54-42. After a Deacons layup, Jackson and Hawkins each hit jumpers, cutting the lead to 10 with 1:58 left. After a Deacon layup from Corrine Groves, Jackson added another layup and with 14 seconds left, junior Ebony Johnson (Columbia, S.C./Ridgeview) hit a 3-pointer, making it a seven-point game.
The Spartans started out strong, hitting its first two shots, as Jackson hit a jumper before Wyant drained a three at the top of the key, giving Upstate a 5-2 lead just 40 seconds in. From there, the Demon Deacons (1-0 overall) used three 3-pointers of their own, two from Camille Collier to take a 21-11 lead. The teams each traded 10 points during the rest of the half, as Wake Forest took a 31-21 lead into the half. Whiting and Jackson each had five points for the Spartans and Corinne Groves and Collier had nine and eight points for the Deacons, respectively.
The Spartans started strong in the second half, cutting the lead to five points 36-31, as Whiting drained two threes from the right corner and Wyant scored on a driving layup and a fast break layup. With 15:04 left, Courtney Morris extended the Deacon lead to eight on a 3, however, extending the lead to eight with 15:04 remaining. From there, the teams battled back and forth until back-to-back-to-back threes from Collier and two from Christen Brown gave the Deacons a 52-34 lead with 7:04 left.
Groves led the Deacons with 15 points and eight rebounds and Tiffany Roulhac added nine points and five assists. Alex Tchangoue posted seven points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
Upstate will wrap up its season-opening road trip on Friday when it travels to Charleston Southern for a 7 p.m. game before opening up its home slate by hosting IUPUI on Wed., Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Hodge Center.
"The whole point of playing these two games was to get some experience," George said of the team's opening games at Kentucky and Wake Forest, "and not just against weaker competition. We want to know what our weaknesses are. We want to work and we want to get better. The good thing that we can take from these two games is that we've competed. We've made runs and I think that's good for these kids."