Lady Cougars fall to USC Aiken

AIKEN, SC – The Columbus State women's basketball team could not slow down the top-ranked offensive attack in the Peach Belt Conference as No. 14 USC Aiken defeated the Lady Cougars 68-47 in a conference game played on Saturday afternoon.

With the loss, CSU is now 7-6 and 2-2 inside the PBC while USC Aiken is 11-1 and a perfect 4-0 in league play. The Pacers now have a 10-game winning streak, one victory shy of tying a school record.

"You can't spot one of the best teams in the league a 20-point advantage and expect to win any game, especially on the road", stated CSU head coach Jonathan Norton. "We fought hard in the second half but couldn't do much being down by so many."

The Pacers wasted no time jumping out to a 10-2 lead after the first five minutes of action. After a timeout called by Jonathan Norton, Dominique Gilbert scored two quick buckets before a Pacer timeout.

CSU was able to cut the lead down to three (11-8) after the timeout, which would be the closet the Lady Cougars would be the remainder of the game.

From there, the Pacers would outscore Columbus State 31-10 in the final 12:19 of the first half. USC Aiken had a 19-3 run to stretch their lead to 19 (30-11) with 4:56 left in the first 20 minutes of play. The two sides would exchange baskets before the Pacers would close the half on another impressive run, this time a 10-3 spurt to go into the half leading 42-18.

Coming out of the break, USC Aiken pushed their lead to a game high 27 points (48-21) as Hannah DeGraffinreed made a lay-up with 15:48 left in the game. The Lady Cougars then went on their best run in the game as they scored eight consecutive points to make the score 48-29. Dominique Gilbert scored six of the eight points during the spurt.

The Pacer lead would stay around 20-points for the rest of the game as CSU were not able to get back into the game.

USC Aiken shot 43.9 percent (25-for-57) from the field during the game including shooting a sizzling 55.2 percent (16-for-29) in the first half. The 43.9 percent shooting percentage was the highest that any team has shot against CSU this year.

Columbus State could not slow down Kayla Harris as she netted a game high 21 points going 8-for-12 from the field. Hanna DeGraffinreed and Daniela Tarailo scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Dominique Gilbert led CSU scoring 16 points shooting 70 percent (7-for-10) from the floor for the game. Lauren Matheney scored in double-figures for the second time in three games as she posted 12 points. As a team, the Lady Cougars were only 1-for-11 from three-point range.

Columbus State will now turn their attention to Armstrong Atlantic State University as the two Peach Belt Conference rivals face off on Thursday at the Lumpkin Center. Tip-off will be at 5:30 p.m. ET.