USC Aiken net home opener win over Braves 65-52

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AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team registered a 65-52 victory over UNC Pembroke Wednesday evening.

The Pacers are now 1-4 on the year and 1-3 in league play. The Braves fall to 1-4 overall and 1-3 against PBC foes.

Head coach Mark Miller‘s team was led by an array of student-athletes. Madison Williams accounted for 11 points while Delaney Trushel and Emily Trushel notched 10 points apiece. Allycia Harris grabbed 12 rebounds while Chidinma Okafor accounted for a double-double with a Division II school-record 10 blocks to go along with 11 boards. Okafor also chipped in six markers in the victory.

Tied at 13-13 in the first quarter, USC Aiken shut down the visitors the rest of the frame and into the second stanza. The Pacers went on a 15-0 spurt to break things open and never looked back. In the second period, Delaney Trushel got things going with two free throws. Emily Trushel hit a shot before Williams connected on a free throw. Delaney Trushel nailed a shot from distance moments later. The spurt ended after Okafor connected on an inside shot. A Rikoya Anderson basket before the half made it 33-21 at intermission.

Okafor drained back-to-back baskets to start the third quarter. A Harris jumper extended the margin to 39-21, forcing the visitors to take a time-out with 7:07 to go in the frame. After that quick break, Miller’s team continued to light up the scoreboard, netting five more points. During the run, Okafor was stellar defensively, swatting two more shots. A big third quarter propelled the Pacers to a 17-point advantage heading into the final frame.

Miller’s squad did not let the visitors pull closer than 13 points in the fourth quarter en route to the 13-point victory.

For the game, USC Aiken drained 25-of-62 from the field (40.3 percent), including eight-of-24 from downtown (33.3 percent). The squad held a 44-31 advantage on the glass, including a 15-9 margin on the offensive end. The Pacers’ largest lead came at 51-26 in the third quarter.

USC Aiken dished out 10 assists, had 20 points off the bench and swatted 11 shots. The home team also controlled the paint, outscoring the Braves 30-20.

The Pacers return to action Saturday when they host No. 16 North Georgia at 3:30 p.m.

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