#18 USC Aiken Too Much for Lady Saints in 74-35 Win
AIKEN, SC – Playing their second ranked opponent in the last three days, the North Georgia women's basketball team went up against 18th-ranked USC Aiken on Monday evening and fell 74-35 at the Convocation Center in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Lady Saints drop their third straight contest, falling to 10-5 overall on the season and 1-3 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the 18th-ranked Pacers get back on track following a loss to 5th-ranked Clayton State on Saturday as they improve to 16-3 overall and 8-1 in the league.
Following a 42-day stretch without a loss, North Georgia has had a rude awakening to conference play, dropping three straight games, as they fall to 4-6 all-time against USC Aiken. The last time the Lady Saints defeated the Pacers was three years ago in Dahlonega, coming with a 93-83 shootout to split the season series.
The Pacers wasted no time taking an early lead as senior guard Nakia Pinkney caught fire from the opening tip, knocking four straight buckets, including a trio of three-pointers to score the game's first 11 points.
Following the USC Aiken surge to open the game, North Georgia cut the lead right back to single digits as Janyce Ealey hit a layup at the 15:57 mark, but the Pacers answered as they took off again, going on a 20-4 run over the next 12 minutes to take a commanding 31-6 lead with 3:14 remaining in the period.
USCA continued to extend the lead over the final three minutes, leading by as many as 30 points on a Mia Antoine jump shot with 27 seconds remaining in the half, creating a 38-8 halftime score.
North Georgia came out in the second half as Lindsey Moss drained a three-pointer on the opening possession to cut the lead to 27 points, but USC Aiken answered with a 10-0 run and would eventually take their largest lead of the game at 41 points with 6:03 remaining in the contest.
Moss cut the lead to 38 on a three-pointer with 1:12 remaining, but a foul just before the buzzer sounded sent Daniela Tarailo to line as she hit one of two from the charity stripe, giving the Pacers a 39-point victory.
Tarailo led USC Aiken with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Pinkney added 17 points on a 5-for-6 performance from behind the arc. Moss was the only North Georgia player in double figures as she finished with 12 points in 34 minutes of action.
The Pacers dominated on the boards, snagging 15 offensive rebounds and scoring 20 points on second chance opportunities, while turning 27 North Georgia turnovers into 39 points.
The Lady Saints return to action on Wednesday evening, traveling to Americus, Ga., to take on Georgia Southwestern in Peach Belt Conference action. North Georgia's second of three straight road games tips off in the Storm Dome at 5:30 p.m. against the Hurricanes.