Strong Defense Guides Lady Pacers To Win Over Flagler
By Press Release
AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken women's basketball team led by 14 at halftime en route to a 62-52 victory over visiting Flagler Monday evening in a Peach Belt Conference contest.
The Pacers (8-16, 6-9 PBC) extended their lead to 22 points with seven minutes to go in the second half and connected on free throws down the stretch to hold off the Saints.
The two teams started out neck-and-neck for much of the first half of play, but a Mackenzie Reese jumper with 7:30 to go in the stanza spurred a 17-4 run for the home team to close out the half. The final stretch gave the Pacers a 30-18 lead heading into the half time break and was highlighted by Porsha Martin scoring six of the Pacers' 15 points. She would finish the night with eight points as she was held to just two points in the second half.
The young squad continued to learn Monday night as they once again saw its lead whittled down to as many as eight points with 13 seconds remaining before settling for the final 10-point margin.
The Pacers were led in scoring by Mariah Durian's 13 points off a 6-for-12 shooting performance while Courtney Mealing and Kassy Johannsen each added nine. Durian had only recorded three points in each of the last two contests while Reese led the team Monday night off the glass with nine rebounds to go along with five assists and five points.
Johannsen was huge off the bench as she swatted four shots.
The Pacers out-rebounded the visitors 47-37 and outscored the Saints 34-22 in the paint. USC Aiken also held a 10-4 advantage in second-chance points. Collectively, head coach Mike Brandt's team shot 44.6 percent from the floor while limiting Flagler to a mere 30 percent.
Monday night's game was also important for USC Aiken as it was the Pacers' annual "Play 4 Kay" game. The Pacer women sported special pink-trimmed uniforms and many also wore pink shoes, socks and head bands. At halftime, USC Aiken honored those in attendance who have battled and continue to battle breast cancer with a recognition service where those willing to be recognized were presented with a pink rose.
The Pacers return to action Wednesday when they host Georgia Southwestern. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.