Pacers breeze past Hurricanes
No. 3 USC AIKEN WOMEN 84, GA. SOUTHWESTERN 51
AMERICUS, Ga. — The third-ranked USC Aiken women’s basketball team showed no ill effects from its 15-day holiday hiatus in a 84-51 Peach Belt Conference victory over Georgia Southwestern on Thursday at the Storm Dome.
The Pacers (10-0, 3-0) got off to a fast start and never relented as they extended the best start in program history. They were led by Daniela Tarailo, who scored a career-best 26 points. She tied a career high by knocking down five 3-pointers, including three in a game-starting 11-4 run. For the game, Tarailo was 9-for-13 from the field, 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.
Tarailo piled up points early on, with 14 in the opening minutes of the game along with six points from Kayla Harris helping to guide the Pacers to a 20-6 advantage with just under 15 minutes to play in the first stanza. The Pacers would eventually extend their lead to as many as 34 points, heading into halftime with a 51-20 advantage.
Harris scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half, while point guard Brittany Hill assisted on 10 of USCA’s 20 field goals in the game’s first 20 minutes. Conversely, Georgia Southwestern (2-8, 0-3) was limited to just 28.6 percent (8-for-28) shooting in the first half.
The second half was more competitive, but the Pacers were always in complete control. Hill had four more assists in the second half to end the game with a program single-game record 14 assists, breaking the old mark of 12 held by three former Pacers.
USCA also got significant contributions from Mackenzie Reese, who had 14 points and Porsha Martin, who was the final Pacer in double figures with 10 points. USCA closed out the win shooting 57 percent (34-for-60) from the field, including 54 percent (7-for-13) from beyond the arc. The Pacers had assists on 27 of their 34 field goals.
Georgia Southwestern shot 40.4 percent (21-for-52) from the field and was led by Kabrina Merriweather’s 20 points.
This game was the first of seven consecutive against PBC West Division foes for the Pacers. Their 10-game winning streak is just two away from tying the 2011-12 Pacer squad for the longest winning streak in program history.
USCA will next stay in the Peach State for its next against Columbus State in Columbus on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.