Women's basketball uses dominant second half to down USC Aiken

Women's basketball uses dominant second half to down USC Aiken

AIKEN, S.C. – The Lander women's basketball team outscored USC Aiken 50-24 in the second half to turn a nine-point halftime lead into an 82-47 blowout of the Pacers on Saturday night in a Peach Belt Conference matchup. 

Lander (21-5, 16-4 PBC) avenged a 66-64 home loss to the Pacers (6-20, 3-17 PBC) in January with its eighth consecutive double-digit victory. 

Breshay Johnson led the Bearcats with 25 points and Chelsea Mitchell recorded her ninth double-double in 13 games with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Destinee Langford netted 13 points and Ariana Sanders chipped in 10. Jessica Harris led the team with six steals as Lander forced 34 USC Aiken turnovers. 

Mitchell scored six of Lander's first 11 points as the Bearcats built an 11-8 lead with 3:06 left in the first quarter. Lander scored 10 of the final 14 points of the quarter to take a 21-12 lead into the second period. In a defense-controlled second quarter, USC Aiken trimmed the Bearcat lead to 28-23 with 1:11 to go in the half before Lander netted four points in the final 52 seconds, including a jumper from Sanders as time expired. 

A 17-5 Bearcat run early in the third quarter pushed the Lander lead to 49-30 as the Bearcat defense forced six Pacer turnovers in less than four minutes. Lander held USCA to a single point over the final 4:35 of the period, taking a 58-36 lead into the fourth quarter. 

Lander pushed its lead to 30 points on a pair of Johnson free throws with 4:08 remaining, part of a stretch in which Johnson scored nine consecutive points. Destinee Webster's jumper with 1:52 to go gave the Bearcats a 38-point lead, their largest of the night. 

The Bearcats play their final home game of the regular season on Wednesday night against league-leader North Georgia at 5:30 p.m. in Horne Arena for Senior Night.