Lady Pacers bounce back

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AIKEN --- USC Aiken junior guard Meredith Legg called Saturday's win "absolutely necessary."

Coming off a pair of road losses, the 23rd-ranked Lady Pacers got back on track with a 67-35 win over Georgia Southwestern at the convocation center.

USC Aiken improved to 9-3 overall, 3-3 in Peach Belt Conference play. The Lady Pacers rebounded with a near record-setting performance after allowing 89 points at North Georgia and 93 at Francis Marion.

"After those two losses, people were down," Legg said. "The team at North Georgia and Francis Marion was just a little disoriented."

The Lady Pacers regained their bearings and limited their opponents to their smallest output this season. They fell a point shy of tying the school record for fewest points allowed to a Peach Belt opponent (Augusta State, 2001).

USC Aiken led by eight with 10:09 remaining but outscored Georgia Southwestern 25-1 the rest of the game.

"Regardless of who you're playing, holding anybody to 35 points is refreshing," said Lady Pacers coach Mike Brandt, whose team entered allowing 67.5 points a game.

The Lady Pacers suffered their worst loss of the season Wednesday, a 23-point defeat at Francis Marion. In that contest, USC Aiken committed 43 turnovers, the most ever under sixth-year coach Brandt.

"I think we lost some confidence," he said. "We began to doubt a few things. This was important to come back and regain our confidence."

Against Georgia Southwestern, USC Aiken shot 48 percent from the field and recorded 23 assists against 18 turnovers. Legg scored 17 of her team-high 21 points in the second half. She shot 7-for-13 from the field with six 3-pointers for her third 20-point game in the past six outings.

Morgan Johnson added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Pacers. Megan Starnes chipped in 13 points.

Georgia Southwestern (1-11) dropped its 11th in a row after winning its season opener over Clark Atlanta. The Lady Canes entered with the Peach Belt's worst scoring offense and defense.

Georgia Southwestern shot 30 percent from the field, including 1-for-12 from 3-point range, and committed as many turnovers as points.

Jamilah Sharp led Georgia Southwestern with 12 points.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.


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