USC Aiken women run past Augusta State

USC Aiken women 63, Augusta State 33

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AIKEN — Someone on the USC Aiken women’s basketball team had to spark the Lady Pacers after their slow start against Peach Belt Conference rival Augusta State.

USC Aiken's Kayla Harris puts up a shot during Monday's rout. Harris finished with a game-high 21 points.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
USC Aiken's Kayla Harris puts up a shot during Monday's rout. Harris finished with a game-high 21 points.

All of them chipped in for a 62-33 USC Aiken win.

Trailing 8-6 at the first media timeout, the 13th-ranked Lady Pacers got a 3-pointerfrom Daniela Tarailo, the team’s first make in six attempts.

Tiffani Moody followed with an offensive rebound and putback, and Lindsay Sundberg added back-to-back jumpers from long range for five more points.

Hannah DeGraffinreed quickly got into the act with an easy bucket off an inbounds play, and Kayla Harris drove to the basket three times for seven points.

The team-wide effort produced a 21-2 run, restoring the balance of power as USC Aiken remained undefeated in conference play. The Lady Pacers (13-1, 6-0) beat Augusta State for the fifth consecutive meeting, picked up their school-record 12th win in a row and kept pace with Lander atop the conference’s East Division standings.

Though the accomplishments are starting to add up, Lady Pacers head coach Mike Brandt said he reminded his girls that this is no time to slow down.

“It’ll be memorable after the season’s over,” he said. “Right now, that’s nice and of course we’ll read about it and hear about it and everything, but I have to give our team credit. They’re the ones doing it.

“I think that they need to continue to stay focused, and they have been. You have to play focused basketball to get that many wins in a row, especially in the conference.”

The Lady Jaguars (7-8, 2-5) got off to a quick start in their attempt to snap a four-game, in-conference losing streak and led 8-4 after four minutes with an energetic defense and a 4 for 4 effort from the field.

But turnovers and several blown layups – including back-to-back misses from starters Brittany White and Brooke McCants during USC Aiken’s first-half run – squandered the early lead.

“We better get better at a lot of things,” Augusta State coach Nate Teymer said. “We’ve got to execute as a team. We look like we have five individiuals on the court. We need to make sure we’re on the same page playing together.”

The Lady Jaguars scored just 16 second-half points to post their lowest offensive output of the season.

Harris led USC Aiken with 21 points and seven rebounds. Brittany Hill added seven points and seven assists.

USC AIKEN WOMEN 62, AUGUSTA STATE 33

PLAY OF THE GAME: Brittany Hill ended the first half with a hard drive to the baseline and a reverse layup to give the Lady Pacers a 31-17 halftime lead.

STAR OF THE GAME: USC Aiken sophomore forward Kayla Harris went 10 for 17 from the field for a game-high 21 points and added seven rebounds.

NEXT: USC Aiken at UNC Pembroke, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.; Augusta State at Georgia College, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.


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