CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team outscored USC Upstate, 18-9, in the fourth quarter but the rally fell short, as the Spartans held on for the 55-48 victory at the Templeton Center on Monday night. PC drops to 0-2 on the year, while Upstate remained unbeaten at 2-0 on the year.

Player of the Game

Janie Miles and Kaycie Reffner each contributed 14 points on the night with Reffner reaching a career-high. Miles added five rebounds in the loss, while Reffner added four boards. Rebecca Walker tied a career-high with nine rebounds, the most by a PC player through two games.

Stat of the Game

The Blue Hose out-rebounded the Spartans, 32-29, despite playing just two post players in the contest. PC also converted 11-of-15 chances from the free throw line, after going 0-for-4 from the line against Indiana on Friday night.

How It Happened

PC opened up a 15-10 advantage in the first quarter, thanks to a 15-3 run that spanned nearly seven minutes of the opening period. Cortney Storey started the scoring for the Blue Hose with a layup and one to tie the game at 3-3 before a Janie Miles three-pointer pushed it to 6-3 to get PC going from there. Seven of the PC’s 15 points in the quarter came at the charity stripe, after it attempted just four total free throws in the season opener.

USC Upstate took control of the game in the middle quarters, outscoring the Blue Hose 19-9 in the second quarter and 17-6 in the third quarter. The second proved the most costly for PC, as the Spartans went on a 12-2 run over the final five and a half minutes, including a 9-0 run to finish the quarter. After scored the first three points of the third quarter, Upstate would carry a 17-3 run over the final eight minutes of the frame to push its lead to 46-30 at the end of the third.

PC would not go away quietly, though, cutting the lead to single digits late in the fourth thanks to a 9-0 run. Senior Kaycie Reffner led the charge with six points in the final period and Miles added five. The Blue Hose would get as close as five points after a layup by Kacie Hall but the Spartans downed two free throws in the final seconds to close out the 55-48 victory.

Coach Steelman’s Take

“I’m not discouraged by tonight, it’s just a little growing pain. The thing we have to do is continue to compete. We have to be better on the boards, too. If we can rebound a little better, we’ll be in better shape. We have a lack of aggressiveness sometimes. We’re not looking at the rim, we’re not squaring up like we need to. Squaring up to the basket and seeing what’s there is a big part of what we’re trying to do on offense. Like in an orchestra, where all the pieces have to come together to make good music, right now we’re a little disjointed. We’re trying to figure it out. We’re a little tentative sometimes when we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for. When we don’t know how to look for it, we become a little tentative and we don’t end up playing together.”

Notables

- Freshman Kacie Hall scored the first points of her collegiate career in tonight’s game, scoring four points to go with five rebounds and an assist in just her second game at PC.

- Reffner totaled a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Her previous high-water mark came last season with eight points against Coastal Carolina.

- Erica Blackwell-Boyden and Riley Hemm each made their collegiate debuts in tonight’s game. Boyden, who missed all of last season with an injury, played nine minutes and recorded a rebound. Hemm played five minutes for her first action in her freshman campaign.

Up Next

PC will face a quick turnaround, as they travel to ACC foe Virginia Tech on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. meeting against the Hokies. The game can be seen on HokieVision through the WatchESPN app.