AIKEN — Sharing the ball and playing strong defense have characterized the USC Aiken women in their wins this season.
The Pacers executed both in a 78-70 win over Georgia Southwestern on Wednesday night at the convocation center.
The Pacers had three scorers in double figures while two more had eight points each. They spread the ball around and picked up 16 assists as a team while holding Georgia Southwestern to 39 percent shooting.
“We had gone through a lull lately, but the last couple games, we’ve been moving the ball around,” coach Mike Brandt said. “We don’t care who it is as long as we get the job done.”
It marks two consecutive games where the Pacers (9-16, 7-9 Peach Belt Conference) have relied on one another to pull past the opposition. They had just one double-digit scorer in Monday’s win over Flagler, and USC Aiken’s defense held Flagler to 30 percent shooting.
For a team with only two scorers averaging double figures, spreading the ball around has been important.
“It’s important to get everyone involved,” Brandt said. “We needed to get others in to rest our starters some after the long week, and we were able to do that for much of the game tonight.”
USC Aiken’s Mariah Durian had a game-high 17 points. Mackenzie Reese added 13 points and Courtney Mealing had 12.
(9-15, 4-13) jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first five minutes, but USC Aiken quickly recovered. A 26-9 run for the next 10 minutes resulted in an eight-point lead by the 5:44 mark.
The Pacers led 40-33 at the half.
USC Aiken maintained a comfortable lead for much of the second half, reaching an advantage as large as 19 with 8:25 to go.
Georgia Southwestern slowly crawled back to within single digits before time expired, but the Pacers’ lead was never threatened.