NORTH GEORGIA 64, USC AIKEN 48
A few mental lapses here and there were a few too many Saturday for the USC Aiken women's basketball team against North Georgia in a 64-48 loss.
The Pacers (12-10, 8-8 Peach Belt Conference) did some of the things – play hard and defend – head coach Mark Miller demands from his teams. Where they fell short, though, was in offensive execution. Add in those lapses that led to 3-pointers in transition and turnovers that led to layups, and it was just too much against the PBC's No. 2 team.
"I thought our kids, we battled and we played hard, but we've got to make some shots," Miller said. "Crucial times where we didn't make scores, they get a run out. We've got to learn how to grind it a little better.
"I thought we played hard for 40 minutes, but we've got to a better job of executing and grinding out. Keep the game close, and then you give yourself a chance. When they open it up to 15 or 16 against a good team like North Georgia, it's really difficult."
Kwajelin Farrar had a double-double with a team-high 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Kyrie' Chandler scored 11 points. Homecoming Queen Sade Johnson had five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Farrar shot 8-for-15 from the field, but her teammates were a combined 11-for-44. Miller pointed out that, yes, some of that can be attributed to North Georgia's defense – but a big part of that was also the Pacers just missing shots.
USCA held North Georgia to 30.8 percent shooting in the first quarter, and the Pacers led 12-9. The Nighthawks, though, shot 54.3 percent the rest of the way and led by as many as 19 points.
North Georgia (17-4, 12-3) showed its offensive versatility, with four players scoring in double figures and the team shooting 58.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. The Nighthawks were a perfect 4-for-4 from deep in the second quarter and shot 66.7 percent from the floor to take a 30-22 halftime lead.
USCA opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run to retake the lead at 33-32, but North Georgia countered with a 15-3 run over the next 7:22 for a 47-36 lead.
Farrar's jumper with 2:53 left pulled the Pacers within nine, but North Georgia scored the next 10 to put the game out of reach.
USCA visits Flagler at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.