The Georgia Southwestern women's basketball team gave No. 20 USC Aiken all they could handle Saturday afternoon at the Storm Dome, but the Pacers came away with the 71-68 Peach Belt Conference victory.
GSW (5-7, 0-5 PBC) had six players record double figure outings led by Jamilah Sharp, who had 13 points and six rebounds. Brandi Burris added 10 points, Arile Hadley and Whitley Wiltz chipped in 11 apiece and Brittany Reynolds and Nadirah Gardner each scored 10 for the Lady Hurricanes..
Satu Leppanen was one of four Pacers in double figures. Meredith Legg finished with 15 points. Morgan Johnson had 12 points and Megan Starnes added 11 for USCA.
USC Aiken (12-3, 4-1 PBC) controlled the first 10 minutes of the game, building a 15 point lead (27-12) with 9:30 to go in the first stanza. However, Southwestern scored on six of their following seven possessions to cap a 14-2 run and eventually tied the contest for the first time at 32-32 with 2:14 left in the first half.
The Lady Hurricanes took their first lead of the contest under a minute later at 34-32. A Brittany Reynolds lay-up with 15 seconds left in the first stanza gave GSW a 38-36 lead at the intermission.
The second half started much the same way that the first half ended with the Hurricanes continuing to push their lead. Georgia Southwestern was able to extend its lead to as much as 10 points in the opening minutes of the second period, taking a 50-40 lead with just over 16 minutes left in the game.
The Hurricanes were unable to score on three straight trips down the floor and USCA capitalized, going on an 11-1 run tie the game at 51-51.
The Pacers took the lead back shortly thereafter at 53-51 after Leppanen was able to break free on a back door cut and hit an easy lay-up.
Georgia Southwestern would then go on a 10-3 spurt of their own to take the lead back at 61-56 with 8:21 left in the contest.
The Pacers would not let the Hurricane lead last, going on a 6-1 run over the next four minutes to tie the game at 62-62. The Pacers would get the lead back at 64-62 with 4:14 left in the game and hold from that point forward to earn the three-point victory. Southwestern had a chance to tie the game at the final buzzer, but Gardner's three-point attempt hit the back of the rim, giving the Pacers their fifth straight win.
GSW travels to No. 21-ranked Clayton State on Wednesday.
PICTURED: Jamilah Sharp
PHOTO BY: Chris Fenn