Saturday, March 9, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ga. – In a battle of top-25 teams, the nationally 25th-ranked/East second-seeded University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team was unable to upset national No. 1/West No. 1 Clayton State in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at the Lumpkin Center.
The win by Clayton State (28-0) snapped a three-game winning streak against the Lakers in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament for USC Aiken (21-7). The Pacers knocked off Clayton State last year in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship game.
USC Aiken and Clayton State played close for the first 10:30 of the game with the Lakers holding a narrow 19-15 lead. The Lakers would still be up just four at 26-22 with 4:11 remaining in the first half of action.
Clayton State would then close the half on a 13-2 run to enter intermission with a 39-24 lead.
The Pacers would come out strong in the second half, scoring the first five points.
The strong start would lead to a Pacer effort that would see USC Aiken pull to within five at 58-53 with 5:05 left in the contest.
That would be as close as the Pacers would be able to get in their eventual 13-point loss to the Lakers.
USC Aiken finished its loss to Clayton State shooting 33.3 percent (18-for-54) from the field as a team. The Pacers shot 88.5 percent (23-of-26) from the free throw line as a team in the game.
Clayton State closed out its win over USC Aiken shooting 45.8 percent (27-for-59) as a team. Clayton State shot 85.7 percent (18-of-21) from the free throw line as a team in the game.
Three Pacers finished in double figures in the contest with Porsha Martin (Douglasville, Ga./South Paulding HS) leading the way with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Brittany Hill (Mechanicsville, Va./Quinnipiac) scored 13 points to go along with five rebounds, five steals and three assists. She was 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the game.
The final Pacer in double figures, Daniela Tarailo (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point HS) ended her efforts with 12 points, seven rebounds and one assist.
Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Drameka Griggs led Clayton State with a career-best 34 points.
The regionally fifth-ranked Pacers will now have to wait and see if they receive an at-large invitation to the 2013 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. The field will be unveiled during a Selection Show on NCAA.com at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.