Saturday, Jan. 5, 2018
AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken women's basketball team knocked off Columbus State 72-62 Saturday afternoon in a PBC contest.
The Pacers are now 8-4 overall and 4-2 in league play. The Cougars fall to 6-3 on the year and 3-2 in the PBC.
Head coach Mark Miller's team was led by Kyrie' Chandler's game-high 17 points. Kwajelin Farrar totaled 14 points and 13 rebounds while Sade Johnson and Melyk Taouil added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Alex Canady chipped in nine markers while Grace Crawford totaled eight in the victory.
Star Toomey snagged eight rebounds while Chandler and Janae' Simpson dished out six and four assists, respectively.
USC Aiken opened the scoring on a three-point shot from Chandler. A lay-up by Canady made it 5-0. The Pacers continued their hot start, pushing the margin to eight on a jumper from Johnson off a pass from Chandler. The squad led 15-5 on Taouil's bucket in the paint. USC Aiken's largest lead of the first quarter came at the 2:46 mark as Crawford found Canady for a long-distance shot and an 18-6 advantage.
The Cougars trimmed the lead to a mere two points at 23-21, but Miller's team responded in fine fashion with a 6-0 spurt. Johnson hit a three-pointer while Janae' Simpson made a foul shot. Chandler's jumper made it 29-21.
CSU made it a 31-24 contest with 5:46 to play in the opening half, but Miller's team played exceptional defense and did not allow the visitors to score the rest of the way. During the final 5:46, USC Aiken outscored the visitors 10-0. Taouil had a pair of three-point baskets in the run, including the final points of the half on a pass from Farrar. The Pacers maintained a 41-24 lead at the break.
The Pacers pushed the lead to 17 on a jumper by Farrar with 8:19 to go in the third, but the visitors managed to trim the deficit to 13 heading into the fourth quarter.
After the Cougars pulled within three at 58-55, Farrar made a pair of foul shots at the 3:51 mark, extending the lead to 60-55. Leading by four, Chandler found Johnson for a lay-up and a six-point edge.
USC Aiken forced a turnover and Taouil found Canady for a bucket, making it 64-56. With the visitors forced to foul, Miller's squad calmly connected on its free throws down the stretch for the 10-point win.
For the game, USC Aiken canned 26-of-51 from the floor (51 percent), including seven-of-18 from downtown (38.9 percent). The squad also out-rebounded the visitors 51-45. Miller's team never trailed in the contest.
The Pacers return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 9, when they play at Francis Marion. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.