USC Aiken men sneak past Lander while women falter

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GREENWOOD, S.C. -- In a season that has seen newcomers lead the way, USC Aiken veteran Kingsley Oguchi stepped up Wednesday night, scoring 19 second-half points as the fifth-ranked Pacers (22-2, 16-1 PBC) escaped Lander (9-15, 6-11 PBC) with a 66-61 victory in Peach Belt Conference men’s basketball action.

With the win, USCA tied the school record in the NCAA era for wins in a season, previously set in 1992-93.

The victory was also the ninth-straight for head coach Vince Alexander’s squad, equaling the school record set by this same team to begin the season.

In the women's game, on milestone night for junior guard Meredith Legg, the USC Aiken Lady Pacers (17-7, 10-7 PBC) will likely look back with regret on a tough 80-72 loss at Lander (17-10, 11-6 PBC) in a key women’s Peach Belt Conference basketball match-up on Wednesday night at Horne Arena. Legg scored nine points, her only field goal of the second half coming at 9:58 mark, to give her 1,001 career points. The loss snaps the Lady Pacers’ five-game winning streak.

USC Aiken and Lander entered the night tied for fourth in a tightly bunched group of six teams all within one game of first place. With the loss, however, the Lady Pacers fall two full games behind #23 Francis Marion with four to play. Also, the Lady Pacers began the night ranked 10th in the NCAA South Atlantic Region, but need a big stretch run for a shot at an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

Legg scored five of the team’s first 16 points as USC Aiken built its largest lead of the game at 16-7 with 13:35 left in the opening half. What followed, however, was a 13-2 Lander run giving the Lady Bearcats their first lead 20-18 with 7:38 on the clock. LaShonda Chiles connected on a pair of three-pointers to fuel the spurt. She finished 5-of-11 from deep for a game-high 23 points.

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