Originally created 02/26/97

USC-Aiken women face test



MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - It didn't take Gail Moody-Johnson long to start talking about Kennesaw State.

USC-Aiken women's coach reflected for just a few seconds on Tuesday's 58-47 Peach Belt Athletic Conference Tournament victory over Lander and immediately turned her attention to the 11th-ranked and top-seeded Lady Owls.

"If the girls are focused and ready to play as a team, we'll be able to give Kennesaw a very good game," Moody-Johnson said. "I'm pleased we won the game, but we haven't achieved what we came here to do yet. I think playing on the neutral court helped settle us down and gave us more confidence."

The ninth-seeded Lady Pacers (7-20), who defeated eighth-seeded Lander (8-19) for first time in three meetings this season, won their second straight game and for the third time in the past five games.

It was the team's first tournament victory since 1992, but now the Lady Pacers must play Kennesaw State today at noon at Georgia College & State University.

"We're playing a lot more relaxed than we were earlier this year," said Aiken's Kenya Rogers, who played at Thomson High. "These past couple of wins have really helped with our confidence. Kennesaw drilled us, so we know that it won't be easy, but if we play 40 minutes and not slack up, we can give them a good game."

They'll need it. The Lady Owls have won 17 straight games, are 25-1 and boast Division II's leading scorer in Joanna Cyprys, who is averaging 27.1 points.

"We've been playing together," Moody-Johnson said. "We've just got to keep that up."

The Lady Pacers shot 55 percent in the first half to build their lead, which reached 22 points midway through the second half.

USC-AIKEN (58)- Freeman 1-2 0-0 2, Coppin 3-7 2-2 8, Brown 4-14 1-2 9, Spain 2-3 2-4 6, Rogers 6-11 0-0 14, Day 0-2 0-0 0, Van Horn 0-1 0-0 0, Ansboro 1-2 0-1 2, Lilly 4-7 1-4 9, Burke 0-1 0-0 0, McMahon 0-1 0-0 0, Scarlatto 2-3 4-4 8, Keating 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 10-17 58.

LANDER (47)- Wright 6-11 1-2 13, Entzminger 0-5 0-1 0, Burrows 3-8 0-0 6, Robinson 2-11 0-0 4, Dixon 4-10 0-2 8, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor 0-4 4-6 4, Harrison 0-3 0-2 0, Smith 0-4 0-0 0, Weaver 1-4 0-0 2, Bryant 5-11 0-0 10. Totals 21-73 5-13 47.

USC-Aiken 33-21.

3-point goals- Aiken 2-9 (Rogers 2-6, Day 0-2, Ansboro 0-1), Lander 0-14 (Robinson 0-5, Dixon 0-4, Burrows, Taylor 0-2, Harrison 0-1). Fouled out- None. Rebounds- Aiken 41 (Brown 8), Lander 50 (Bryant 12). Assists- Aiken 7 (Brown, Lilly 2), Lander 11 (Robinson 5). Turnovers- Aiken 25, Lander 20. Total fouls- Aiken 18, Lander 19. A- 53.