AIKEN, S.C.--Just over 24 hours after springing an impressive 67-63 upset at #7 Clayton State, USC Aiken (3-0) showed no signs of a letdown in dispatching of Coker College (0-4) 84-57 in women’s non-conference basketball action on Sunday evening at the Convocation Center.  USCA improves to 9-1 all-time against the Cobras and is off to the program’s fastest start since the 2000-01 team opened 4-0.

The win is the fifth-straight at home as USC Aiken has posted victories in 14 of its last 15 at the friendly confines dating back to 2005-06. 

Coker proved feisty early on, hanging within four points through the opening 10 minutes.  But after Henna Koponen’s jumper at 8:18 made it 24-19, junior sharpshooter Meredith Legg knocked down the second of her four first-half three-pointers, igniting a 21-8 run, breaking open the game 45-27 with 1:11 left in the half.  Legg finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 from long range, moving into ninth place on the school’s all-time NCAA scoring list with 650 career points. 

Legg joined junior forward Morgan Johnson with 12 points each in the opening stanza as USC Aiken shot a sizzling 61.3 percent from the field. 

For good measure, the Lady Pacers delivered a knock out blow to open the second half, scoring nine-straight out of the gate starting with a Legg trey and capped off by a Megan Starnes bucket at the 18:10 mark.  The run reached 19-7 midway through the final frame on an “old-fashioned” three-point play by Starnes at 11:21, increasing the bulge to 67-36. 

Starnes was 3-of-7 from the field for seven points and two assists in 20 minutes of action. 

A pair of free throws by Temeca Spain drew the Cobras within 67-42 before freshman Sarah Meyer drilled her first shot as a Lady Pacer, a three-pointer from the far baseline, and freshmen Triahna Harris and Nakia Pinkney tacked on fast-break buckets as the advantage ballooned to its largest margin, 74-42, with 6:56 to play. 

Spain led the Cobras with 18 points and eight rebounds on 8-of-8 at the line. Koponen chipped in 12 points while Lotta Aaltonen and Rebecca Kolbeck added 11 and 10 respectively. 

USC Aiken had 12 of its 13 roster players score as Meyer drained 2-of-4 from beyond the arc for six points in nine minutes. Senior Jordon Thomas contributed eight points and pulled down six boards while Pinkney scored a career-high 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. 

Johnson completed a solid night with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals, and two blocks in 20 minutes of action. 

USC Aiken forced 30 turnovers while committing 17, outscoring the Cobras 26-6 off miscues.  Points in the paint were also lopsided at 44-12 in favor of the Lady Pacers as were fast-break points 16-2.  The Lady Pacers shot 54.0 percent from the field for the game and held Coker to 38.2 percent. 

USC Aiken will now ready itself to take on archrival Augusta State on Wednesday, November 28 at the Convocation Center. The key early season Peach Belt Conference showdown will tip-off at 5:30 PM.  Fans are encouraged to bring a gently worn coat to donate to the USCA Community Coat Drive and will receive free admission to the game.  Coker returns home to Hartsville, S.C. to host #24 Newberry on Tuesday at 6:00 PM. 

Newspaper Box Score
Coker vs USC Aiken
11/25/07 5:00 PM at Aiken, S.C. (Convocation Center)

USC AIKEN 84, COKER 57

COKER (0-4)
Spain, Temeca 5-15 8-8 18; Koponen, Henna 6-10 0-1 12; Aaltonen, Lotta 4-5 0-0 11; Kolbeck, Rebecca 4-11 2-3 10; McCarthan, Kenya 2-4 0-0 5; Rienstra, Heidi 0-1 1-2 1; Tyndall, Joanna 0-0 0-0 0; Thomas, Megan 0-2 0-0 0; Castren, Maija 0-0 0-0 0; Beavers, Kiesha 0-2 0-0 0; Hayes, Jessica 0-5 0-1 0. Totals 21-55 11-15 57.

USC AIKEN (3-0)
Johnson, Morgan 7-10 2-2 16; Legg, Meredith 5-10 0-0 15; Pinkney, Nakia 5-7 0-0 10; Leppanen, Satu 4-5 0-0 8; Thomas, Jordon 4-7 0-2 8; Starnes, Megan 3-7 1-1 7; Meyer, Sarah 2-5 0-0 6; Williams, Avonte 1-2 3-4 5; Norman, Marissa 1-2 1-3 3; Harris, Triahna 1-3 0-1 2; Crapps, Cameron 0-1 2-2 2; Broadwater, LaToshia 1-1 0-2 2; Disney, Megan 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-63 9-17 84.

Coker.........................   29   28  -   57
USC Aiken.................   45   39  -   84

3-point goals--Coker 4-10 (Aaltonen, Lotta 3-3; McCarthan, Kenya 1-1; Kolbeck, Rebecca 0-2; Thomas, Megan 0-1; Hayes, Jessica 0-3), USC Aiken 7-18 (Legg, Meredith 5-9; Meyer, Sarah 2-4; Norman, Marissa 0-1; Harris, Triahna 0-1; Crapps, Cameron 0-1; Pinkney, Nakia 0-1; Johnson, Morgan 0-1). Fouled out--Coker-None, USC Aiken-None. Rebounds--Coker 38 (Spain, Temeca 8), USC Aiken 33 (Johnson, Morgan 6; Thomas, Jordon 6). Assists--Coker 13 (Hayes, Jessica 4), USC Aiken 28 (Johnson, Morgan 6). Total fouls--Coker 14, USC Aiken 15. Technical fouls--Coker-None, USC Aiken-None. A-598.

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