CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team defeated USC Upstate 66-58 on Tuesday night at the G.B. Hodge Center. Four Blue Hose players finished in double-figures including Salina Virola who recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Scoring the Game
After an early basket from Upstate, PC built to an 11-2 lead behind 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Trinity Johnson hit the first three pointer, and Shamani Stafford hit the next two. The hot hands continued, and the Blue Hose found themselves leading 21-12 after the first quarter.
Stafford drained another pair of threes in the second, and the PC lead grew to as many as 15 points, 29-14, with 7:26 on the clock. From there however, the Spartans held PC to just six free throws and a late layup from Bria Gibbs but still entered halftime trailing by double digits, 39-26.
USC Upstate capitalized cold shooting by PC in the third quarter to cut the lead down to five points, 43-38, at 2:19. Kacie Hall hit a timely three on the next possession to record the team’s first field goal of the second half.
Virola took over in the fourth quarter, scoring three quick baskets to push the lead back to 10 points, 54-44, and forcing a timeout from the Spartans at 8:22.
With just over two minutes to play, Upstate’s Rylie Parkhurst hit a three to make it 59-55.
After a pair of PC free throws extended the lead back to six, Virola blocked a three-point attempt with 13 seconds left. Hall sank a pair of free throws on the other end to secure the 66-58 win.
Players of the Game
Salina Virola, Trinity Johnson and Shamani Stafford all finished with 15 points. Virola also added 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Johnson had a collegiate-best seven rebounds to go along with a team-high four assists and two steals. The Spartan’s Kathryn Kirkwood also had a double-double with a game-high 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Stats of the Game
PC sank its first 14 free throw attempts and finished the game 20-24 (83.3%) compared to just 6-8 (75%) by USC Upstate. The Blue Hose also held an edge from behind the arc, sinking 8-14 (57.1%) of their threes while the Spartans hit 6-24 (25%). Turnovers were tied at 18 apiece, but PC held a slight 18-14 advantage in points off those turnovers. The Spartans led the rebounding margin, 38-33.
Trinity Johnson finished in double-figures (15 points) for the third consecutive game and pulled down a collegiate-best seven rebounds.
The win was the 100th career win for head coach Alaura Sharp.
PC sank +20 free throws for the third time this season and second consecutive game.
For the Record
Presbyterian College improves to 5-20 (3-11 Big South) while USC Upstate falls to 6-18 (2-11 Big South).
Presbyterian College will have the next week off before hosting Hampton in the Templeton Center in a 6:00 pm game on Tuesday, February 26, that will be broadcast on ESPN+.