Lady Hurricanes suffer heartbreaking loss to USC Aiken

Published 12:38 am Monday, February 18, 2019

AMERICUS – With 7:06 to go in the game, the Georgia Southwestern State University women’s basketball team had a 62-51 lead over the Lady Pacers of USC Aiken, but the Lady Pacers outscored GSW 18-4 the rest of the way and left the GSW Storm Dome, having stolen a 69-66 victory over the Lady Hurricanes.

The loss drops the Lady Hurricanes to 8-15 overall and 5-12 in the Peach Belt Conference. USC Aiken improves to 13-11 overall and 9-9 in the PBC.

The Lady Pacers were able to force GSW into committing turnovers down the stretch and turned those turnovers into points in their come-from-behind win over the Lady Hurricanes.

Lex Chatman led the Lady Hurricanes with a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Mariya Trimble was also in double-figures as she scored 10 points.

The Lady Pacers had four players in double-figures. Melyk Taouil led USC Aiken with 17 points and both Sade Johnson and Kyrie’ Chandler each scored 12 points. Kwajelin Farrar also chipped in 10 points for USC Aiken.

GSW jumped out to a 5-2 lead early, capped off by a basket from Tyra Smith. Both teams traded baskets for the next minute or so before Trimble scored to give the Lady Hurricanes an 8-6 lead. Morgan Towells then drained a three-pointer. This prompted USC Aiken to call a timeout.

However, it didn’t seem to work as GSW jumped out to a 15-6 lead with 3:39 left in the first quarter. The Lady Pacers scored four straight points before Lele Young nailed a three-pointer to put GSW up 18-10. This was followed by another basket from Towells. After one quarter of play, the Lady Hurricanes had a 20-12 lead.

GSW junior forward Mariya Trimble goes up for a shot. Trimble scored in double-figures, scoring 10 points.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Pacers drew closer in the second quarter on a three-pointer by Kyrie’ Chandler, but Chatman responded with a three-pointer of her own to put GSW back up 23-15. After a basket by USC Aiken, Chatman struck again with a three-pointer, and the Lady Hurricanes took a 26-17 lead.

With a little over six minutes left in the half, the Lady Pacers had the ball, but GSW did an excellent job defensively in limiting USC Aiken’s shot selection and forced a turnover.

Both teams went through a long scoring drought until Kierra York scored to increase GSW’s lead to 28-17. The Lady Pacers scored six points to get to within five, but Trimble nailed a three-pointer to put the Lady Hurricanes up 31-23.

However, the Lady Pacers went on a 9-2 run to close out the first half. GSW had a 33-32 lead at the half.

Chatman led GSW in the first half with 10 points and was 2 for 2 from beyond the arc. As a team, the Lady Hurricanes were 14 of 33 from the field (42.4 percent) and shot 5 for 16 from the three-point line (31.3 percent). GSW was not able to get to the foul line very much as they went 0 for 2 from the foul line. USC Aiken shot 14 for 39 from the field (35.9 percent) and 1 for 11 from beyond the arc (9.1 percent).

USC Aiken outscored the Lady Hurricanes in the paint 22-14 and scored 12 second-chance points to GSW’s four. The Lady Pacers were also able to get to the free throw line a few more times. They shot 3 for 5 from the foul line. The rebounding in the first half was virtually even, with GSW holding a slight 33-32 edge. Kwajelin Farrar led the Lady Pacers in the first half with 10 points.

Lex Chatman scored the first points of the second half on a layup. This was followed by a basket from Towells as she scored on the dribble drive. Towells was fouled on the play and made the free throw. The Lady Hurricanes went on an 8-2 run to start the third quarter, capped off by another three-pointer by Chatman. By the 7:12 mark, the Lady Hurricanes led 41-34. Trimble added to GSW’s when she was fouled. Trimble made one free throw, but USC Aiken’s Kanna Suzuki hit a three-pointer to cut the Lady Hurricanes’ lead to 42-37.

Both teams traded baskets for the next minute, but the Lady Pacers scored with 5:11 left in the third quarter to get to within five at 46-41. With 4:48 to go in the third, GSW head coach Kelly Britsky called a timeout to settle her club down and get them to regroup.

The Lady Pacers applied full-court pressure, but the Lady Hurricanes were able to break it. However, they came up empty on their possession. USC Aiken took advantage as Melyk Taouil scored to bring the Lady Pacers to within one at 46-45.

Fortunately for GSW, a media timeout was called with 3:55 to go in the third quarter.

USC Aiken went on a 4-0 run to take a 49-46 lead with 1:59 left in the third, but Trimble tied the game on a three-pointer. Then Lele Young put the Lady Hurricanes back in the lead with two free throws. After USC Aiken missed a three-pointer, Madison Johnson was fouled and made both free throws to give GSW a 53-49 lead with under a minute left in the third. Jamesha Samuel’s three-point attempt at the buzzer was missed, but the Lady Hurricanes would go into the final quarter with a 53-49 lead.

USC Aiken continued to step up their defensive pressure, but Chatman was able to hit another three-pointer to put GSW up 58-51 with under eight minutes left in the game. Brianna Perry nearly scored on a fast-break layup for GSW, but she was fouled on the play. Perry made both free throws. Then GSW forced a turnover and Perry scored again. GSW owned a 62-51 lead before USC Aiken head coach Mark Miller called a timeout with 7:06 left.

Out of the timeout, the Lady Hurricanes scored again when Trimble scored off a missed shot. USC Aiken responded by scoring five straight points. This prompted Britsky to call timeout with 5:18 left. However, out of the timeout, Sade Johnson scored for the Lady Pacers to cut GSW’s lead to 64-60. Tyra Smith was fouled, but missed both free throws, keeping GSW’s lead at four.

Melyk Taouil scored and was fouled. She made the three-point play, putting USC Aiken to within one at 64-63.

The Lady Pacers scored four straight points to go up 67-64 until Chatman scored to cut the deficit to 67-66 with under a minute left.

With 16.6 seconds left, Kyrie’ Chandler was fouled and made both free throws.

Timeout was called with USC Aiken leading 69-66. Unfortunately, the Lady Hurricanes weren’t able to get the tying basket, and lost a heartbreaker to the Lady Pacers 69-66.

The Lady Hurricanes will be back in action on Monday, February 18, when they host Lander University. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.