AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team used a jumper by Chidinma Okafor to fight off Clayton State, 66-65, Wednesday evening.

The Pacers are now 6-8 overall and 2-4 in league play. The Lakers fall to 6-7 overall and 0-4 against PBC foes.

Head coach Mark Miller‘s team was led by Chidinma Okafor’s game-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks. Jentri Worley registered 15 points, seven assists and three boards in the win. Delaney Trushel added 10 points, six assists and a pair of steals. Allycia Harris narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Yasmine Fairchild contributed seven points and four rebounds while Madison Williams and Sarah Perez added five and three points, respectively.

Trailing 9-2, Okafor got things going with a jumper. Williams found Trushel for a three-ball, making it 9-6. Down 12-6, Trushel canned a pass from Worley to pull within three. Okafor and Harris each had lay-ups and between those made baskets, Trushel again connected from distance. Worley’s three-ball extended the margin to seven, 19-12. The Lakers closed the first period on a 6-2 run, making it 21-18.

USC Aiken embarked on an 8-0 run to start the second stanza. Okafor, Harris and Worley drained shots during the spurt. Leading 30-20, Sarah Perez was fouled and calmly hit both charity tosses. Yasmine Fairchild made a free throw as did Perez, pushing the score to 34-20 en route to a 38-24 halftime advantage.

Clayton State whittled away at the margin in the third quarter. USC Aiken led 52-40 on a Worley three-point shot, but the Lakers pulled within seven at the end of the stanza.

The teams traded baskets for the first three minutes of the final frame but the visitors sliced the score to just two at the 2:31 mark. Harris added a free throw to push the score to 64-61 with 1:28 to play. After four straight points by Clayton State, Okafor took a pass from Trushel and hit the game-winning shot with 16 ticks on the clock.

A last-second heave by the Lakers fell short, securing the win for Miller’s team.

For the game, USC Aiken hit 24-of-54 from the floor (44.4 percent), including six-of-11 from downtown (54.5 percent). The team hit 12-of-18 from the charity stripe (66.7 percent).  

The Pacers return to action Saturday when they host Young Harris at 1:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.