Legg with career night as USC Aiken women roll

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AIKEN, S.C.--Meredith Legg knocked down 7-of-12 three-pointers on her way to a record-setting night as USC Aiken (15-6) rolled past Presbyterian College (1-23) 66-49 in women’s non-conference basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Convocation Center. It was the Lady Pacers second-straight win over a Division I foe this season, while extending their current home winning streak to four games.

USC Aiken was one of over 900 programs around the country taking part in the WBCA’s “Think Pink” promotion. Led by head coach Mike Brandt, the Lady Pacers honored breast cancer survivors during a special half-time tribute. In addition to the team and staff being decked out in pink, USC Aiken donated all of tonight’s proceeds to breast cancer research.

On the court, Legg made it a memorable night as well. With her sixth 20-point game this year, the junior from Huntersville, N.C. poured in a career-best 29 as she teamed up with starting backcourt mate Megan Starnes for 44 of the team’s 66 points. And with her seventh three-pointer of the night, coming with 1:33 remaining, she passed Kerry Ansbro (1995-99) to become the school’s career three-point leader with 206.

Legg got the Lady Pacers off to a fast start, hitting the team’s opening shot of the game as USCA bolted to an 11-2 advantage just 3:30 into the contest. Starnes provided a nice compliment in scoring, doing it inside and out, for her seventh-straight double-digit outing.

Doubling up Presbyterian 24-12 with 7:00 left in the opening stanza, Sharie Hopkins converted the first of two lay-ups during a 12-1 run as a three-pointer from Amy Jones with 2:08 remaining drew PC within 25-24. USC Aiken, however, scored the final seven points of the first half, the last a three by Legg with 15 ticks left, to lead at the break 32-24.

Jones led the Lady Blue Hose with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Hopkins chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.

Another Legg triple less than two minutes into the final frame got the Lady Pacers back to a double-digit lead, a deficit PC could get to nine only once, coming at the 11:48 mark on a jumper by Bridget Takach. Legg countered with a lay-up the next trip down the floor as USC Aiken steadily pulled away to the 66-49 wire-to-wire win.

In defeating Presbyterian for the fifth-straight time, USC Aiken improved to 13-0 when leading with 5:00 to play and with their ninth-straight non-conference victory dating back to last year, are now 38-4 at home versus non-league foes since 1999-2000.

Playing against her former team, junior forward Morgan Johnson pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go with four assists, four blocks, and six points.

After back-to-back games with shooting performances over 53.0 percent, USC Aiken did cool off to a 40.7 percent night connecting on 22-of-54 shots.

Winners of five of their last six, USC Aiken, ranked ninth in the NCAA South Atlantic Region poll released today, travels to Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, February 16 for a Peach Belt Conference showdown at 5:30 PM. Presbyterian returns home to host Converse College, also on Saturday, at 2:00 PM.

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