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Nov. 18, 2009
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Junior Chelsea McMillan (East Gadsden, Fla./Santa Fe C.C.) posted 14 points and added 11 rebounds on Wednesday night at No. 12/17 Virginia in a stalwart effort, but the Cavaliers' size and running ways were too much for the Spartans, as three players combined for 65 points and went on for a 110-63 victory in non-conference action at John Paul Jones Arena.
McMillan, who played just 21 minutes on her 21st birthday, posted 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half before polishing off her eighth career and second double-double in the second half.
Three players finished in double-figures for the Spartans (2-1 overall), as senior Courtney Hawkins (Greer, S.C./Greer) finished in double-figures for the third straight game as she notched 13 points to go with three assists and freshman Lesley Daniel (Collinwood, Tenn./Collinwood) posted 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and added four assists.
Virginia (3-0 overall) was led by 27 points and 11 rebounds to go with three assists and two blocks from Chelsea Shine. Freshman Simone Egwu posted 19 points and seven rebounds and Preseason Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Monica Wright posted 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals.
"Virginia is a very, very good team," Upstate head coach Tammy George said. "Obviously, they exposed a lot of our weaknesses and their post play was able to do everything they wanted to in their game plan. Chelsea McMillan played well in spurts, as did the whole team, but we just never really got momentum on our side.
The game was a barnburner from the start, as Virginia ran out to a 19-7 lead after a three from Wright with 14:56 left, but the Spartans started to score as well and back-to-back jumpers from McMillan made the score 27-16 with 9:52 left in the half. The high scoring continued, as Virginia used a 9-0 run in the latter stages of the half to take a 17-point lead at 38-21. From there, the teams matched each other bucket for bucket and Hawkins took over for the Spartans, scoring the final 13 points of the half for Upstate, with a 3-point play with 34 seconds left helping the Spartans close within 16 at 52-36. She added a pair of free throws to close the half with three seconds left, as Upstate went to the locker room down, 54-38.
After the half, the Cavaliers used a pressing defense and a fast-paced offense to overmatch the Spartans, outscoring them, 56-25. Freshman Morgan Goss (Morrow, Ga./Mays) provided a bright spot for the Spartans, hitting two 3-pointers for her first career points and freshman Christine Nyobe (Bertoua, Cameroon/Miller School (Va.)) added four points and three rebounds, as she hit her first collegiate field goal.
Junior Sharnece Wadelington (Greenville, S.C./UNC Greensboro) added six points and five rebounds for the Spartans. Sophomore Kendra Wallace (Hurricane, W.Va./Nitro) also added six points on strength of two 3-pointers.
Upstate gets back on the court on Saturday, heading home to the Hodge Center to face Indiana State at 3 p.m.
"We are looking forward to getting back home and to the Hodge Center to face Indiana State on Saturday," George said. "They are a good team, but we know we can play better than we did (Wednesday) and we think we can make some noise."
- Assistant coach Kevin Nicholls had a contingent of about 15 friends and family from his hometown of Troy, Va., in the crowd.