Game Day: Georgia College hosts USC Aiken

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THE GAME

The Georgia College women's basketball team (12-3, 5-3 PBC) host USC Aiken (2-5, 4-12 PBC) in an inter-division battle in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. The game pits the No. 5 West division Bobcats against the No. 6 East division Pacers. GC Hall of Fame Broadcaster Scott MacLeod and sports information student assistant Nick Burgess will have the call on UStream and Country 102.3FM. 

SERIES HISTORY

The Bobcats hold a slim 27-25 edge in games between the two teams. Last season, Georgia College lost to the Pacers 59-39 Jan. 24. The 39 Bobcat points were the second lowest total last season.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE 'CATS 

The No. 24 Georgia College women's basketball team responded to its first multiple-game losing streak this season with a convincing 78-59 win over GRU Augusta (8-7, 4-4 PBC) Monday Jan. 20 at the Centennial Center. Junior Shanteona Keys scored a career-high 33 points in helping Bobcats' head coach Maurice Smith earn his 50th career victory. 

"It was a hard fought game," said Smith, who has already matched his win total from last season at 12. "I thought the first half went back and forth and we really struggled to guard as GRU did a great job in their half-court offense. I was proud to see our young ladies execute defensively in the second half to secure the win."

Keys shot 88 percent from beyond the arc, going 7-of-8 for 21 of her 33 points and giving her 121 career threes. She is now four threes away from breaking into the Georgia College all-time top-10 in threes made and is also just seven points shy of tying Allison Barry for No. 13 on the Bobcats' all-time scoring list at 1,096. Keys co-led the team in boards with eight, while going 13-of-17 from the floor on her best night as a Bobcat.

Junior Enisha Donley scored 22 points for the second-consecutive game and also had eight boards while adding three assists. Senior Brandi McKinney had an impressive outing with 17 points, seven boards, and going a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. McKinney registered career-highs in assists with eight, and steals with six.

Georgia College trailed in the early going, but Keys' first three of the night would tie the game at 9 and start a 12-point run that would give the Bobcats the lead for the rest of the contest. GRU's Tavia Sykes' bucket in the final minute before the intermission brought the Jaguars within three at 37-34.

The second half went back and forth with GRU coming within two points of tying the game three separate times. With just under eight minutes left and with a two-point lead, Keys sank three consecutive threes to sway the game in the Bobcats' favor. 

The Bobcats shot 47 percent from the floor going 29-of-62, and 50 percent from three-point land hitting 10-of-20. GRU Augusta shot 35 percent from the floor on 19-of-55, and 25 percent from beyond the arc, hitting 4-of-16.

The Jaguars were led by Jemimah Asby and Becky Newhouse with 15 and 13 points, respectively, with the latter adding a game-high nine boards. 

SCOUTING THE PACERS

The Pacers have five players listed in seven top-10 PBC categories. Porsha Martin is ranked in four categories and leads her team in scoring at 12.6 points-per-game, total rebounds-per-game at 8.2, field goal percent (.503) and free-throw percent (.808). She is fifth in the PBC in minutes played (519), eighth in total rebounds (132), eighth in rebounds-per-game (8.2) and 10th in free-throw percent (.808). 

Mackenzie Reese is ranked in two PBC top-10 categories and leads her team in assists at 3.2 per game. She is second in minutes played (536) and sixth in total assists (51). 

Kassy Johannsen leads her team in blocks with 0.9 per game, and is tied-ninth in PBC blocks with 15. Amaura Brandt is fourth in PBC 3-pointers with 32, while Mariah Durian is tied-eighth in the PBC with 25. 

LAST TIME AGAINST USC AIKEN

The Georgia College women's basketball team (9-7, 5-4 PBC) traveled to take on No. 6 USC Aiken (14-2, 7-2 PBC) Jan. 24, 2013 and the Pacers' hot shooting led to a 59-39 loss for the Bobcats. 

Enisha Donley led the Bobcats for the second game in a row scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting while adding eight rebounds, one assist and one steal. Just six Bobcats reached the scoring column, with Shanteona Keys adding eight points and Thresia Elskamp seven. 

The Pacers were led by Daniela Tarailo, who had a game-high 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Brittany Hill added 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting while also chipping in five rebounds and three assists.

As a team, the Bobcats shot 13-of-41 from the field and 4-of-12 from behind the arc, compared to the Pacers 24-of-47 from the field and 6-of-14 from downtown. 

The Bobcats out-rebounded the Pacers by a 30-28 margin, but the Bobcats would also turn the ball over 20 times compared to the Pacers 14. 

MILESTONE WATCH

Shanteona Keys picked up her 1,089th point in the win against GRU Augusta Jan. 20. She had 413 points her freshman year and 438 as a sophomore, and now needs seven points to tie Allison Barry (1,096 career points) at No. 13 on the all-time career scoring list. Sherita Ballard (87-91) holds the record for career points with 1,819.  

 Keys' 238 career free-throws are just five free throws away from tying Carla Hull's (85-89) total of 243 at No. 6. on the Bobcats' all-time free-throw list. Keys also has made 121 career threes, and is four threes away from tying No. 10 Karen Nunn (1989-93) at 125. 

Senior Abby Slocumb is three blocks away from tying No. 5 Marquita Driskell (05-07) at 91 blocks on the GC career all-time blocks list. Alicia Wilson (94-97) is at No. 4 with 93, while Dalana Watson (99-03) and Ashley Williams (04-08) are tied-second with 94. Antoinette Reames (08-10) holds the school record for blocks with 140. 

UP NEXT

The Bobcats travel to Young Harris on Saturday, Jan. 25th for a PBC tilt at 1:30 p.m.