FORT MYERS, Fla. – Four Eagles scored in double figures, but Chelsea McMillan’s triple with four seconds remaining in the game lifted USC Upstate to a 75-74 victory over the FGCU women’s basketball on Monday night at the Hodge Center.
With the loss, the Blue and Green fall to 24-3 overall (17-3 A-Sun), while the Spartans improve to 16-12 overall (12-7 A-Sun).
Junior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 shooting from behind the arc. Redshirt-freshman Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) registered 14 points and three rebounds. Senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) finished with a game-high 10 assists to go with 11 points and six rebounds, while junior Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian) recorded 10 points and five rebounds.
Chelsea McMillan led the Spartans with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Tee’Ara Copney contributed 14 points and four assists.
Trailing Upstate 8-7 with 16:49 remaining in the opening half, the Eagles used an 8-0 run, highlighted by triples from Griffin and Jackson, to grab a seven-point lead, 15-8.
The Spartans responded with an 11-4 to even the score at 19-19 with 11:24 left in the first half. After the teams battled to a 23-23 tie (7:23), the Blue and Green employed a 17-6 run to take a commanding 11-point lead (40-29).
Upstate closed the half with a 4-1 run over the final 2:24 of the opening stanza to cut the Blue and Green’s advantage to 41-33 heading into the locker room at the intermission.
The Spartans shot 14-of-37 (37.8 percent) from the field and 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) from behind the arc in the first half.
FGCU hit 16-of-32 (50 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from long distance.
FGCU started the second half out strong as they increased their lead to 17 points with 12 minutes left in the second half.
Upstate would not go away, as they began to force turnovers and make tough shots en route to cutting the Blue and Green’s lead to just three points with 1:02 left in regulation.
Copney split a pair of free throws, after stealing the FGCU inbounds pass and drawing a foul from Murphy, to cut the Blue and Green’s lead to just 74-72 with 20 seconds on the clock.
The Eagles inbounded the ball to Hansen, who was fouled with 11 seconds left in the game. Hansen missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Spartans pushed the ball up the floor and found McMillan on the left win for the game-winning three pointer.
The Eagles return to the court to this weekend when they host the three-day FGCU Tournament at Alico Arena. FGCU will take on Seattle on Friday, Mar. 4 at 7:30 p.m.