Originally created 11/30/03

Lady Pacers crush Newberry



AIKEN - Kasey Mills can sense the confidence building inside the USC Aiken Lady Pacers locker room.

After all, USC Aiken has outscored its four Division II opponents by a 27.5-point margin and nearly knocked off Division I Georgia Southern on the road.

"It's nice that we have eight new people and the chemistry is well," said Mills, who led the Lady Pacers with 15 points. "I can't wait until later in the season."

USC Aiken held Newberry to four second-half field goals and rolled to a 77-44 win Saturday in the Honda Cars of Aiken Classic.

"The second half we picked it up on defense," USC Aiken coach Mike Brandt said. "We said we had to do a better job of picking up their penetration."

Sarah Kendrick and Haylee Reichert made a pair of 3-pointers to kick-start a 15-6 run to close out the first half. The Lady Pacers led 40-28 at halftime.

Not everything was roses for USC Aiken (4-1), though. Sophomore point guard Mindy Allee went down with an injury late in the first half. Brandt said she might have torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, pending an MRI, and she's expected to be out the rest of the season.

"That's a big loss for us," Brandt said. "Somebody else will have to step up for us."

Against Newberry, that someone else was the entire team as the 12 remaining Lady Pacers played at least eight minutes.

USC Aiken continued to have success with its uptempo offense in the second half, while holding Newberry to seven points in the first 11 minutes after the break.

The Lady Pacers now get their first Division II test of the season when they play Tuesday at Catawba.

"Setting up the schedule, you want to have good quality competition," Brandt said.

NEWBERRY (2-4)-Laura Banda 5-12 5-7 15, Elizabeth Green 0-0 2-2 2, Kelsey Maloney 3-10 2-4 8, Katie Plunkett 2-6 0-0 4, Tasha Hollingsworth 0-3 0-0 0, Shirolyn Johnson 1-7 0-0 2. Debbie Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Tasha Farmer 0-0 2-4 2, Ashley Nelson 0-1 2-2 2, Lauren Wrightson2-4 0-2 4, Tanya Deese 0-2 5-6 5. Totals 13-46 18-27 44.

USC AIKEN (4-1)-Erica Larsen 4-12 1-1 9, Haylee Reichert 2-7 2-2 8, Benazura Serbecic 1-6 0-0 2, Kasey Mills 6-11 2-3 15, Sarah Kendrick 3-4 1-1 9, Beata Szabo 1-4 2-2 4, Amy Ransom 1-1 0-0 2, Gezel Virella 2-5 1-2 5, Shannon Coyle 1-3 0-0 3, Lana Mandic 3-4 0-0 6, Katie Gebhardt 0-1 0-0 0, Mindy Allee 1-3 0-1 2, Katie Mitchell 6-14 0-0 12. Totals 31-75 9-12 77.

Halftime: USC Aiken 40-28 3-point goals: Newberry 0-8 (Banda 0-5, Plunkett 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Nelson 0-1), USC Aiken 6-18 (Larsen 0-3, Reichert 2-5, Mills 1-2. Kendrick 2-2, Szabo 0-2, Coyle 1-3). Rebounds: Newberry 34 (Plunkett 8), USC Aiken 50 (Serbecic 11). Assists: Newberry 8 (Plunkett 3), USC Aiken 25 (Reichert, Szabo 4). Turnovers: Newberry 24, USC Aiken 15. Fouls: Newberry 14, USC Aiken 23. Fouled out: Mandic. A-341.