UNCP (12-12, 6-9 PBC) was led by JaToya Kemp who pumped in 18 points and grabbed nine boards. Talena Faison also helped out, bringing in 10 points, three boards, a trio of assists and a steal.
USC Aiken (14-11, 9-7) took leadership from Catherine Cain who found 17 points and nine boards. Also bringing in double digits for the Pacers were Kendra Chandler, who had 13 points, Nakia Pinkney, 12, and Daniela Tarailo with 11.
It wasn’t until midway through the second half that the Pacers began to flirt with UNCP’s lead, coming as close as one point on three occasions. The momentum to tip the ball in the Pacers’ favor came with a combination of layups from Triahna Harris and Hanna DeGraffinreed propelling the Pacers to take its first lead of the game, 57-54, at the 8:04 mark. From there the Pacers began a back-and-forth affair with UNCP which ultimately ended in the hosts’ favor.
Kemp found the first points of the game on two successful free throws and UNCP surged on a 12-6 run to open up the first half 14-6. The Lady Braves would hold the lead the rest of the half, picking up as much as a nine point cushion at the 11:03 mark following a trey by Marquena Delk. The Pacers closed in, down by one at the 2:15 mark, 30-29, but it was UNCP who rallied on an 8-2 spurt to close out the first half ahead, 38-31.
The Lady Braves will return to action on Monday as they host North Georgia (9-13, 4-9) at the English E. Jones Center. Tip off against the Lady Saints is set for 5 p.m., men follow at 7:30 p.m. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $2 for children 18 years of age and younger. UNCP students are admitted free with a valid Braves Card.
Pacers hold off visiting UNCP
AIKEN, S.C. – USC Aiken scored 24 points off of 20 UNCP turnovers and connected on 50 percent of their shots in the second half to key an 86-71 victory over the visiting Braves.
Brandon Thomas registered his 11th career double-double with a game-best 17 points and a dozen rebounds to pace a quartet of Braves (8-16, 4-11 PBC) with double-figure scoring nights. Nate Priest (16 points) and Taylor Hukill (15) both turned in career-best scoring totals, while Chris Hargrove posted 11. Hukill also booked a game-best four blocks as well.