MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – For the second consecutive game, the University of South Carolina Aiken used a last-second defensive stand in the 62-60 victory at Georgia College & State University Wednesday evening.
The Pacers are now 14-9 on the season, including 8-5 in Peach Belt Conference play.
Head coach Mark Miller‘s team was led by Annalise Malone’s career-high 21-point effort in 31 minute of action. She buried eight-of-13 from the floor and snagged four rebounds. Emily Trushel added 13 points, five boards and three assists while Jentri Worley had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists. She also notched three steals.
Breanna Gustave chipped in nine points and four assists while Hailey Unger accounted for four points, five rebounds and three assists.
USC Aiken raced out to a 16-8 advantage and a 34-13 lead at the break. However, the home team got back into the game with a 24-11 third quarter.
Tied at 4-4, Malone took a pass from Emily Trushel and buried a jumper. Unger’s three-ball extended the margin to 9-4. Up by three, 9-6, Malone connected on another field goal at the 5:27 mark. The teams traded baskets before the home team rattled off the final four points of the frame, including a lay-up by Malone with one tick on the clock for an eight-point lead.
USC Aiken did not allow the Bobcats to net a point in the second quarter until 3:33 left. In the 6:27 to start the frame, the Pacers rattled off 11 points for a commanding 27-8 advantage. Leading 30-13, Malone made a shot from the paint. Worley hit two charity tosses with 53 seconds to go before the break for a 21-point margin, 34-13.
The Bobcats pulled within eight, 45-37, during the third quarter. GCSU knotted the score at 47-47 at the 5:40 mark of the fourth but Emily Trushel hit two free throws to put the visitors ahead. The Bobcats held a 55-52 lead but Gustave drained a three-point shot with 2:12 to play.
The back-and-forth affair saw GCSU take a 60-59 lead with 27 seconds remaining but Gustave answered the bell with a lay-up with 15 seconds on the clock. Malone blocked a lay-up attempt, snagged the rebound and converted one-of-two free throws with four seconds left.
GCSU called a time-out, moved the ball to the front court and ran a play. The Bobcats had a shot from the wing, but it did not connect, sealing the win for the Pacers.
For the game, USC Aiken buried 22-of-57 from the floor (38.6 percent), including five-of-11 from the three-point line (45.5 percent). The squad forced 19 turnovers in the game. Miller’s team registered 22 points in the paint and dished out 14 assists in the win.
The Pacers return to action Saturday when they play at Flagler at 1:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.
Courtesy USC Aiken Athletics