NORFOLK, Va. – Kristen Dickerson scored a game-high 22 points to lead a hot-shooting University of South Carolina Upstate team to an 82-62 win over Norfolk State in the season-opener for both teams on Friday night at Joseph Echols Hall.
Raven Jefferson added 19 points and Brittany Clency 13 for the visiting Spartans of USC Upstate (1-0), who hit seven 3-pointers and shot 43 percent from the floor. Kayla Roberts had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds and Koryn Lawrence chipped in 10 points for the Spartans of NSU (0-1).
Dickerson scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and hit two 3-pointers in the first period alone, helping Upstate to an early 21-6 lead six and a half minutes into the game. The visiting Spartans led NSU 26-15 after one quarter.
NSU got as close as eight in the second quarter (29-21) on a free throw by Roberts with 7:38 left before halftime. A jumper by Clency, however, stretched Upstate’s lead to 45-33 at the break.
Travonda Haddock scored five quick points and Dickerson added a jumper as the visitors scored the first seven points of the third quarter to stretch their lead to 52-33. The lead swelled to 26 on a Brittany Starling put-back with just four seconds left in the third quarter.
Upstate led by at least the final margin the rest of the way.
NSU shot 35.5 percent from the floor (22-of-62) and got outrebounded, 48-39. Freshman guard Yazmen Hannah contributed nine points, three rebounds and two assists off the bench for the home-standing Spartans. Siobhan Beslow and Brehanna Daniels scored eight points apiece.
Starling had nine points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for Upstate.
NSU hits the road for its next game, a 7 p.m. contest Monday at the University of Virginia.