Women's basketball ends regular season with program record 18th PBC win

Women's basketball ends regular season with program record 18th PBC win

GREENWOOD – The Lander women's basketball team built a 34-6 lead after one quarter and cruised past Augusta 105-63 in the regular-season finale Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Horne Arena. The Bearcats set a program record for most Peach Belt Conference wins in a season.

Lander will take a 21-7 overall record into the PBC Tournament, finishing 18-4 in regular-season league play. The 18 Peach Belt victories break the program's previous record of 17 set twice, including last season.

The Bearcats will begin play in the PBC Tournament this week with a quarterfinal game Wednesday night at Horne Arena versus either Francis Marion or Georgia College.

The Jaguars finish their season 6-16 in the conference, 7-21 overall.

"We were just proud that we won every quarter," said head coach Kevin Pederson. "It was good to see them come out and have a good response to [Wednesday's loss]. It's all about getting ready for those potential three games in the conference tournament. We're guaranteed one game, but we want to improve and position ourselves to potentially play three game in this tournament. 

Prior to tip-off, Lander honored the program's four seniors; guards Mylea McKenith and Ariana Sanders, head student manager William Cantrell, and student manager/official bookkeeper Lauren Jarecki.

The Bearcats scored their second most points in a game this season, posting six players in double figures.

McKenith and freshman Miriam Recarte led Lander with 18 points apiece.

McKenith had 18 points, shared team-high honors with eight rebounds and added four assists in her final regular-season home game.

Recarte made six of 10 shots from the floor including four of five from behind the arc while adding four blocked shots and four assists.

Jessica Harris flirted with a triple-double with 17 points and eight rebounds while leading the Bearcats with seven assists.

Tabitha Dailey also scored 17 points for Lander. Symone Starks contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and a team high four steals. Amiaya Melvins added 12 points on five of six shooting from the floor.

Kaela Patrick paced Augusta with 17 points while Syndey Grayden added 12 points while leading the Jaguars with seven boards.

Lander built its 34-6 lead over the first quarter by forcing 13 turnovers, scoring 15 points off those turnovers and making 11 of 19 shots from the floor (58 percent) including four of six from deep (75 percent). McKenith led the way with 10 points.

Melvins scored on the opening possession of the second period as the Bearcats had their first 30-point lead at 36-6. Harris's long 3-pointer upped Lander's lead to 40-8 with 8:43 left in the half.

Augusta did not reach double-figure points until 7:24 left in the second period when Kiera Howard scored to make it 40-10.

McKenith's three from the left side gave the Bearcats a 50-20 lead just inside the three-minute mark. Lander led 55-25 at halftime.

Recarte's third three of the game gave Lander its first 40-point lead at 72-32 with 4:19 left in the third quarter. The Bearcats outscored Augusta State 22-14 in the period and led 77-39 going into the fourth.

Recarte's fourth trey upped Lander's advantage to 88-48 with 6:20 to go. Sanders nailed a three as the lead grew to 94-51 at the four-minute mark.

Lander hit the century mark on Quin'De'Ja Hamilton's three, making it 101-55 with two minutes to go.

McKenith and Sanders left their final regular-season home game to an ovation with 1:13 to go.

The Bearcats outscored Augusta 50-28 in the second half.