Lady Pacers seek elusive win in finals

COLUMBUS, Ga. — USC Aiken coach Mike Brandt is hoping the fourth time is the charm for his Lady Pacers’ team.

USC Aiken methodically took apart UNC Pembroke 54-41 on Saturday in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals.

The ninth-ranked Lady Pacers (25-3) earned their third berth in the PBC finals in the past four years and fourth overall.

The previous three have all resulted in losses: 62-49 to Georgia College last season, 64-53 to Lander in 2009 and 56-38 to Columbus State in 2001.

Ending that futility will not be easy, however. Aiken faces No. 3 Clayton State today.

“On paper, this is what should have happened,” said Brandt, who was the coach for the 2009 and 2011 losses. “There is a lot on the line, not only the conference title, but the right to host the regional.”

USC Aiken ended Pembroke’s season by holding the Lady Braves to just 34 percent shooting from the field (16 of 47).

“We struggled to score,” Pembroke coach John Haskins said. “Aiken is a very good defensive team. We had trouble getting the ball into the post or attacking off the dribble.”

“Our defense has been tough all year, and that has kind of been our trademark. We work hard on defense,” Brandt said. “We were able to switch everything when we were in our person-to-person defense, and I think that is hard to go against.”

Hannah DeGraffinreed led the Lady Pacers with 20 points.

More

UGA defensive improvement overshadowed by offensive struggles

ATHENS, Ga. — In the latter stages of Saturday's 24-10 loss to Florida in Jacksonville, Kirby Smart didn't see any quit in a Georgia defense that... Read more

Notre Dame No. 1 in preseason AP women’s poll

It's been 15 years since Muffet McGraw and Notre Dame were No. 1 in the poll.

The Irish earned the top spot in The Associated Press women's... Read more

South Carolina tight end is giving up football

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp says freshman tight end Robert Tucker III is giving up football due to medical concerns.

Muschamp said... Read more