Lady Cougars eliminated by USC Aiken -, GA News Weather & Sports

Lady Cougars eliminated by USC Aiken

COLUMBUS, Ga. -  For the fifth straight year, the season for the Columbus State Lady Cougars ended in the quarterfinal round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament as the Lady Cougars fell 82-72 against No. 25 USC Aiken on Thursday night at the Lumpkin Center.

CSU closes out the season for the second straight year with a 16-11 record, while the Pacers improve to 21-6 for the year.

Columbus State has now lost four straight games against the Pacers and five straight games in the PBC Tournament.

USC Aiken never trailed in the game as the Pacers raced out to a 16-6 lead just five minutes into the game. The lead extended out to 11 as Emily O'Rourke hit back-to-back baskets with 11:10 remaining in the first half.

Columbus State charged back scoring the next eight points over two minutes to pull within three at 25-22.

The Pacers didn't relinquish the lead though getting baskets from Brittany Hill and Porsha Martin to stretch the lead back to eight.

CSU had one more charge in the first half as it closed the lead to four at 30-26 on a Chatil Bradford layup at the six-minute mark.

USC Aiken answered and stayed in control taking a 41-33 lead into the locker room at the half.

Asha Alexander scored the opening four points to get the Lady Cougars within four again, but once more the Pacers had an answer.

A three-pointer by Kayla Richards got CSU as close as it had been since the early stages at 43-40. The Lady Cougars then had three consecutive possessions to tie or get within one but turned it over once and missed two shots and USCA took over from there.

The lead quickly ballooned to 12 and Columbus State would not get closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Chatil Bradford led CSU with 17 points going 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Asha Alexander was 9-for-10 from the charity stripe and finished with 15 points. Shan Basley added nine points in the final game of her collegiate career.

Five Pacers tallied double figures led by Mia Antoine with a career high 17 points. Brittany Hill and Porsha Martin each chipped in 16, while Daniela Tarailo and Mackensie Reese added 12 and 11, respectively.

Columbus State shot just 34.4% (21-of-61) from the field and made only 3-of-16 (18.8%) from beyond the arc. The Lady Cougars did set season highs though at the free throw line knocking down 27-of-31 (87.1%) attempts.

USCA ended the night at 48.4% (31-for-64) shooting and 8-of-16 (50%) from downtown. The Pacers made all 12 of their free throw attempts.

USC Aiken advances on to the semifinal round where they will meet No. 1 Clayton State on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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