When USC Aiken’s third-ranked women’s basketball team travels to Americus, Ga., to face Georgia Southwestern tonight at 5:30, it will do so as a heavy favorite.
Still undefeated at 9-0 (2-0 Peach Belt Conference), the Pacers are set to face a Hurricanes squad that’s 2-7 overall and winless in two tries in conference play.
Offensively, the contrast is a stark one. The Pacers are tops in the PBC in several major offensive stats, including points per game with 72.3, assists per game with 19.3 and free-throw percentage at 75.9. They’re also second in the conference in field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. Georgia Southwestern is worst in the conference in three of those categories and in the bottom four in all five areas.
The Hurricanes are a young team, with only one senior – forward Briana Walker – on the roster. Their leading scorer is freshman Jasmine McSwain with 14.2 points per game while shooting 41 percent from the 3-point line. Sophomore Danisha Green is averaging 10.4 as the team’s only other double-digit scorer. Walker’s the team’s leading rebounder with 5.5 per game while averaging 6.8 points.
The Pacers also only have two players averaging in double figure point totals, but one is junior forward Kayla Harris. Also leading the team in rebounding with eight per game, the preseason All-American averages 19.8 points per outing and makes 80 percent of her free throws. Senior captain Daniela Tarailo’s chipping in 14.1 per game while connecting on 42 percent of her 3-point attempts.
The teams only met once last season, with USCA winning 65-42 at home. Mike Brandt boasts a 6-2 record all-time against the Hurricanes as the Pacers’ head coach.
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University and has been at the Aiken Standard since June 2010.
What: USC Aiken women’s basketball
Who: No. 3 USCA (9-0, 2-0 PBC) vs. Ga. Southwestern(2-7, 0-2 PBC)
When: Today, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Storm Dome, Americus, Ga.
USCA: Kayla Harris, Jr. F. The expectations were high for Harris coming into the season, and she’s lived up to them, averaging 19.8 points and eight rebounds so far this season.
Ga. Southwestern: Jasmine McSwain, Fr. G/F. The first-year swing player leads a young Hurricane team in scoring with 14.2 points per game and is shooting at a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc.