Saturday, February 2, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. – In a thriller for the ages, Mackenize Reese knocked down a 3-pointer at the final buzzer to lead the nationally sixth-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team to a 56-55 Peach Belt Conference victory over national No. 24 Augusta State on Saturday evening at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
USC Aiken was down 55-50 with 15 seconds remaining in the game. Daniela Tarailo (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point HS) then hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left in the game to cut the Jaguar advantage to just two at 55-53.
After a Pacer foul, Augusta State had a chance to ice the game with seconds remaining next, but Tiffany Jaecks missed both free throws to allow Tarailo to rebound the basketball.
Tarailo took advantage, finding an open Reese (Madison, Wis./Edgewood HS) in the right corner. Reese then calmly nailed the game-winning trey with no time on the game clock.
The victory allowed USC Aiken (17-2, 10-2 PBC) to remain on top of the Peach Belt Conference East Division. The Pacers have now won seven straight over rival Augusta State (15-3, 8-3 PBC).
Tarailo led the Pacers in the contest with a career-high 31 points. She also had eight rebounds and four steals. Tarailo knocked down five 3-pointers in the game.
Porsha Martin (Douglasville, Ga./South Paulding HS) was the only other Pacer in double figures in scoring, ending the evening with 12 points.
Tiffani Moody (Raleigh, N.C./Ohio Valley University) did not finish in double figures in scoring, but she did bring down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Brittany Hill (Mechanicsville, Va./Quinnipiac) dished out a game-high six assists for the Pacers in the contest.
Tanchelle Hollingsworth led two Augusta State players in double figures in the game with 17 points.
USC Aiken concluded its win over Augusta State shooting 45.8 percent (22-for-48) as a team. Augusta State shot 42 percent (21-for-50) as a team in its loss to the Pacers.
USC Aiken knocked down 54.5 percent (6-of-11) of its 3-point attempts as a team. The Jaguars shot just 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from beyond the arc as a team in the game.
USC Aiken opened the game by taking a 13-6 advantage over the course of the first five minutes of the game.
The Pacers had extended their lead to 10 points at 20-10 with just over eight minutes to play in the first half.
USC Aiken would lead by as many as 11 in the final eight minutes of the half before entering intermission with a 24-20 lead.
USC Aiken closed out the first half shooting 41.7 percent (10-for-24) as a team. Augusta State shot 36 percent (9-of-25) from the field as a team in the first half.
Tarailo and Martin combined to score 22 of USC Aiken’s 24 points in the first half of action. Tarailo finished the first half with 12 points, while Martin had 10 points at the halftime break.
USC Aiken would lead for most of the early minutes of the second half, but with under 12 minutes to play the game was tied 36-36. Three minutes later, Augusta State owned its first lead of the game at 41-38.
Augusta State would extend its lead to seven points at 46-39 with 6:28 remaining, but the Pacers would then proceed to go on an 8-0 run to own a 48-46 lead with 4:57 to play in the game.
The two teams would battle back and forth the rest of the way before the Pacers eventually emerged with the thrilling one-point win.
USC Aiken will next travel to Greenwood, S.C. to face off against Peach Belt Conference foe Lander at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6.