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Lady Braves upset No. 11 USC Aiken

By Curtis Brooks
Sports Editor

January 26, 2012

Jazmine Kemp
Photo by Mindy Hubbard
Lady Braves senior Domonique Washington dribbles past defenders on Jan. 18 against USC Aiken. Washington finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.

After leading the game from start to finish, the UNCP women's basketball team upset the No. 11 USC Aiken Lady Pacers 52-46 on Jan. 18 in Peach Belt Conference play at the English E. Jones Center.

The Black and Gold gave USC Aiken its first PBC loss of the season, as well as snapping the Lady Pacer's school-record 12 game winning streak in their first loss since Nov. 19.

In a defensive game where both teams had 18 turnovers apiece and struggled to make their shot attempts from the field, the Lady Braves connected on 13 of their 15 free throw attempts to build an advantage. The Black and Gold also scored 18 points off of Lady Pacers' turnovers in the contest.

Senior guards Domonique Washington and DeDe Cotten led the Lady Braves offensive attack with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Washington also contributed six rebounds, five steals and three assists in 36 minutes of action. Junior forward Courtney Bolton was the anchor inside for UNCP, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds.

USC Aiken long range specialist Daniela Tarialo scored a game-high 16 points, knocking down four of her 10 three-point attempts.

Raleigh native Kayla Harris just missed a double- double for the Lady Pacers, finishing the game with 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out late in the second half.

"We gave Tarailo a couple looks in the second half, where she knocked down shots on us and then she made one real tough one, but the rest of the defensive game besides some offensive rebounds, I thought we were very good defensively," UNCP head coach John Haskins said.

"A lot of those free throws were down the stretch when we needed to make free throws," Haskins added.

The Lady Braves used a 12-2 run in the game's opening minutes to jump out to a double-digit lead that they would hold for most of the half before taking a 24-18 advantage into the break.

In the second half, USC Aiken made their run in the game's final minutes. After UNCP led by 11 with 6:17 to go, the visitors clawed back into the game to come within one point with 49 seconds to go.

The Lady Braves sealed the game with five foul shots and two crucial steals by Washington in the waning moments to preserve the upset.

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