AUGUSTA STATE: Augusta State's 71-63 loss to Francis Marion on Monday stopped a seven-game winning streak and handed the Jaguars their first loss in January.
Augusta State is in the midst of a 10-day stretch in which it plays five games.
"We're just not fresh right now," Jaguar coach Gary Tuell said. "I can't give them any days off. You've just got to go out and do the best you can."
The Jaguars travel to Armstrong Atlantic State in Savannah on Saturday before returning home for a four-game homestand, that includes USC Aiken and Lander next week.
"I'm not worried about us. I think this team has proven itself," Tuell said. "My question is how long before we get out of this stale state. All teams go through this. At some point, we'll bounce out of it. It's just a matter of when."
Augusta State leads the conference in 3-point field goals made per game with 8.79. The Jaguars are 167-of-432 from beyond the arc for 39 percent on the year.
For the Lady Jaguars, seniors Aimee Haygood and Britton Thomas have stepped up of late. In the last three games, Haygood is averaging 14.7 points a game on the strength of her 8-of-18 shooting from 3-point range. In Thomas' last six games she has averaged 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds a game.
USC AIKEN: To say Lady Pacers coach Phil Stern is having a rough season may be an understatement. In five previous years coaching, Stern never had a losing record. This year, though, USC Aiken is 5-14 and riding a nine-game losing streak.
One reason the Lady Pacers are not doing so well is injuries. The latest casualty is sophomore point guard Dana Richter, who tore her anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus in the game against Augusta State last week. Junior point guard LeAnn Day, who started the first two games, tore her anterior cruciate ligament midway through the season and is out for the year.
Additionally, senior guard Charmane Freeman, of Martinez, quit the team after the Pacers' 86-37 loss at USC Spartanburg on Jan. 13.
Some good news for the team is that freshman Mary Wooley, after being sidelined with a stress fracture in her shin, has returned to the starting lineup. But against Francis Marion on Saturday, USC Aiken dressed only five scholarship players.
Stern has added four walk-ons to the team in Nichole DuPont, Megan Heidlberg, Shelly Whisenhunt and Heather Lakatos.
PAINE: The Lions will host possibly their biggest home game of the year next week when Albany State comes to town on Tuesday. Paine and Albany State are the top two teams in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division and the Lions defeated the Rams earlier in the season.
After the Albany State game, Paine will have only three more conference games on the year. Paine will have to travel to Morris Brown on Feb. 8 and Fort Valley State on Feb. 10, before returning home for its final conference game of the year against Lane College on Feb. 17.
Despite losing their last two games, the Lions have shot the ball well from three-point range. In those games, Paine was 10-of-27 from behind the arc and led by freshman Christopher Neal. Neal was 4-of-7 on 3-pointers for a team-high 18 points against Augusta State on Saturday. Against Kentucky State on Monday, Neal was 2-of-11 from the field with his only two field goals coming from three-point range.
The Lady Lions suffered one of their worst losses of the year at the hands of Augusta State on Saturday, 102-58. First-year Paine coach Selina Bynum conceded after the game that the Lady Lions just didn't have enough firepower.
"(Augusta State coach Lowell Barnhart) kept subbing five in and my bench just isn't that deep," Bynum said.
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