Pacers bounce back for first win without Harris
No. 3 USC AIKEN 57, YOUNG HARRIS 43
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Playing its first game without preseason All-American Kayla Harris, the No. 3 USC Aiken women’s basketball team got a huge effort from Daniela Tarailo in a 57-43 win over Young Harris. The senior guard scored a career-best 30 points, accounting for more than half of her team’s offense as the Pacers bounced back from their first loss of the year with the critical Peach Belt Conference road win at the YHC Basketball Arena.
Harris, who led the team in scoring and rebounding, tore her ACL and MCL in Wednesday’s loss to Clayton State, USCA’s first loss of the season. The first-ever game against PBC newcomer Young Harris added more intrigue to the Pacers’ challenge to move on from both the loss and injury. Tarailo ensured USCA (13-1, 6-1) was headed in the right direction Saturday.
She scored the first 16 points of the game for the Pacers, knocking down five 3-pointers and a free throw to give her team a 16-14 lead nearly eight minutes into the first half. The advantage quickly expanded to eight after back-to-back 3-pointers by Michelle Turner and Mackenzie Reese.
Tarailo closed the first half with 21 points, and USCA held a 33-24 lead. The Pacers controlled the second half, going ahead by as many as 18 points in the win.
Tarailo was 10-for-19 from the field, knocking down a career-high seven 3-pointers on 10 tries (70 percent) from beyond the arc. She became the first Pacer to score 30 or more points in a game since Meredith Legg scored 34 points in a Jan. 2009 win over Shaw. Tarailo also just missed out on a double-double, as she also had nine rebounds.
Tiffani Moody had a game-high 11 rebounds. That was part of a strong team effort that allowed USCA to own a difference-making 45-27 advantage on the boards, including a 17-7 edge on the offensive glass.
As a team, the Pacers shot 31.5 percent (17-for-54) from the field. Young Harris (9-5, 3-4) closed out the game shooting 35.6 percent (16-for-45) from the field and was led by Ladondra Johnson’s 15 points.
USCA’s next game will be against North Georgia at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.