SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Nov. 5) – The FAMU Women’s Basketball team opened the 2019-20 campaign on the road Tuesday evening, falling to USC Upstate, 74-61 in Spartanburg.
FAMU played well in surges during the game, trailing by just five after one period, but the second quarter proved fatal to their hopes as they were outscored 20-9, to fall behind, 42-26.
In the opening quarter, FAMU held a 5-3 lead on a three-pointer by Corey Staples, and the score was tied 10-10 at the media timeout (4:31). But Upstate put up a 12-7 run to close the quarter with a 22-17 lead.
The second period saw FAMU’s recent penchant for scoring droughts come up early, as they were outpaced, 11-1, with their hosts extending their lead to 33-18 at the halfway point of the stanza. USC would close the half with a 9-7 flurry to take a 42-26 lead by halftime.
Alaina Rice led FAMU at the half with seven points, adding three rebounds, while Shalunda Burney-Robinson and Kailya Jackson each scored six points early. Robinson pulled down eight rebounds in the first half, with Jackson grabbing four and Rice three.
In the third quarter, the FAMU Defense took hold, slowing down the Spartans to a 9-8 crawl in the first seven minutes.
FAMU went on a 19-13 surge overall in the quarter, to pull within 10 points, 55-45 by the end of the period, as Morgan Mitchell hit a jumper with three seconds left.
The Rattlers outscored USC, 5-3 to close to 58-50 on Kailya Jackson’s three-pointers with 8:50 left. But Upstate managed stay just ahead of the determined Rattlers, building their lead back to 13, at 64-51 with 6:43 left.
Junior Kailya Jackson led FAMU with a game-high 24 points, along five five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Alaina Rice added eight points and four rebounds, while graduate center Shalunda Burney Robinson led the Rattlers with nine rebounds to go with seven points.
The Spartans had four players score in double figures, led by Brianna Lewis with 19 points, and Quadijah Moore with a 13-point, 11-rebound double double.
WHAT’S NEXT: FAMU is at Jacksonville (Ala.) State for a 2:00 p.m. ET clash, before opening their 2019-20 home slate next Friday, Nov. 15, against Trinity Baptist College in the Lawson Center. Tipoff will be 6:00 p.m.