Salina Virola recorded her third “double double” of the season with a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Presbyterian College women’s basketball team to a 70-54 win over USC Upstate at Templeton Center on Saturday afternoon.
The first half was tightly contested with eight lead changes and the largest lead being just four points.
The Spartans’ lead again grew to four points, 23-19, after back-to-back layups from Brianna Lewis in the second quarter. However, Bria Gibbs tied the game at 23-23 with a pair of layups of her own and forced a timeout from the Spartans with 4:56 to play in the half.
Despite Michaela Gibbons and Anda Kuzmina each hitting a three down the stretch, PC began to grasp the momentum and held a 33-31 advantage at halftime.
Quick baskets from Virola and Ericka Blackwell-Boyden increased PC’s lead to six points, 37-31, and forced another timeout by the Spartans just 41 seconds into the third quarter.
After a timely three from Rylie Parkhurst cut the lead to just three, 41-38, a free throw from Lewis made it a two-point game with 4:29 left in the third.
Virola scored a contested jumper, sinking the subsequent free throw as well, and Hall beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to give PC an eight point lead, 53-45, after three quarters.
PC took control of the game and pulled away in the fourth quarter. A layup from Gibbs with 1:08 left in the game caped a 12-0 run by PC to make it 68-49.
Presbyterian College improved to 4-11 (2-2 Big South) this season, while USC Upstate fell to 5-9 (1-2) on the year.
Presbyterian College welcomes Gardner-Webb to Templeton Center for a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday.