After falling into an early 14-point deficit Saturday night, the Augusta State women's basketball team started to fight back.
"We had to call a timeout and let them have it a little bit, and then we came back," coach Greg Wilson said. "We started coming back, and we were chipping away at the lead."
Despite shooting only 21 percent in the first half, Wilson's squad hung tough, but the Spartans proved too tough down the stretch, as USC Upstate defeated Augusta State, 61-51, behind a tremendous performance from a pair of seniors.
The inside combination of Lele Miles and Yakeeshia Ross combined for 31 points and 21 rebounds. But their efforts on the defensive end might have proven even more important to the victory.
The pair's five steals, combined with a crucial block by Ross, subdued a second-half Augusta State comeback.
Despite a 16-2 deficit early, the Jaguars were able to scratch and claw their way back, thanks to a great defensive effort of their own.
By halftime, Augusta State cut the deficit to 30-22, but the Spartans came out firing again in the second half, knocking down 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to expand the lead.
"At the start of the second half, I thought we stunk it up again," Wilson said.
"Out of their first five possessions, I think they scored on four of them, and there we were in a hole again."
The defense rebounded for the Jaguars, though, and the offense followed, getting within two points with 7 minutes remaining.
The comeback came up just short, however, as the Spartans shut down the Augusta State offense during the final two minutes.
Tamala Turner finished with 14 points and six rebounds, adding three steals to aid the defensive effort for Augusta State.
"The way we fought to come back, that was our intensity to go into the second half," Turner said. "We never put our heads down, and we really fought through the whole game."
Augusta State's Eva Vodrazkova added 10 points and 10 rebounds.