AIKEN, S.C. - The University of South Carolina Aiken women's basketball team earned a 55-51 victory over No. 11 North Georgia Saturday afternoon.
The Pacers are now 12-8 on the year and 7-5 in league play. The Nighthawks fall to 17-3 overall and 10-2 against PBC foes.
Head coach Mark Miller's team was led by Melyk Taouil's 16 points and nine rebounds. She added two assists and a pair of steals.
Alexis Mack tallied 15 points and eight rebounds while Kwajelin Farrar accounted for 10 points and six boards in the victory. Farrar added three blocks while Alex Canady chipped in three steals.
After trailing 20-8 with 7:23 to play in the second quarter, USC Aiken battled back. Taouil's jumper pulled the team within 10 before Mack canned a three-point shot. Down 26-18, Rikoya Anderson connected on a free throw. Mack found Farrar for a basket before Mack nailed a three-point shot with 1:40 to play before the break, making it 26-24 at intermission.
USC Aiken knotted the contest at 26 on a charity toss by Mack. Farrar's bucket gave the home team a 28-26 lead with 7:36 to go in the third quarter. The teams traded leads throughout the frame, but the Nighthawks took a 35-34 lead with 2:50 to go. However, Madison Williams converted an old-fashioned three-point play for a 37-35 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Williams got things going early in the fourth for a 39-35 lead. After the visitors regained a 42-41 advantage, Taouil connected on a jumper in the paint with 6:07 to play. Williams found Anderson for a three-ball.
USC Aiken maintained a four-point edge when Farrar had a three-point play. Baskets by Anderson and Taouil gave Miller's squad a 53-45 advantage with 3:19 to play.
Strong defense by the home team continued to turn away the Nighthawks in the closing minutes before Mack hit two free throws with five seconds remaining to complete the scoring and wrap up the win.
For the game, Miller's team hit 20-of-51 from the floor (39.2 percent), but limited the nationally-ranked team to 13-of-53 (24.5 percent). The Pacers held a 28-8 edge in the paint. USC Aiken recorded 10 assists on 20 field goals.
The Pacers return to action Wednesday, Feb. 5, when they play at Francis Marion at 5:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.