By CHRIS WHITAKER
AIKEN, S.C. - Georgia Southwestern won its biggest game since joining the Peach Belt when the Lady Hurricanes won at USC Aiken last season.
They did it again on Monday.
Brittany Reynolds delivered big shot after big shot in scoring a game-high 17 points, and Whitley Wiltz scored 16 as GSW opened conference play by beating the Lady Pacers, 62-57.
"It's such a huge win on many levels," said coach Kelly Britsky. "Anytime you get a win on the other side of the conference, especially a quality team as Aiken, hopefully it will come back later in the season and be a big point in our direction."
Reynolds put GSW up for good at 13-12 with 5:55 left in the first half, and her 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Lady Hurricanes a 25-15 lead at the half.
GSW's biggest lead came at 46-30 with eight minutes left on another Reynolds 3-pointer. Britsky said Reynolds and Wiltz carried the team.
"They were our tandem pair last night," she said. "Whitley really stepped it up. We count on her to guard the best player on the the other team, and a lot of times she gets caught up on the defensive effort and don't score a lot. She was able to find a seam in the defense and score some points. A lot of kids did good things that didn't show up on the stats."
GSW (6-5, 1-0 PBC) was 6-of-12 behind the arc and shot 42 percent for the game. It was out-rebounded 45-27, but it made up for it by holding Aiken to 34 percent while forcing 24 turnovers.
"They were one of the best rebounding teams I've found in a couple of years," said Britsky. "One thing we went into the game trying to do was limit Aiken to 50 shots. They have such good shooters, and we knew they couldn't get many looks. They had 15 in the first half and finished with 50. I think that was the difference - them not getting a lot of looks at the goal."
GSW led 59-48 with 1:08 remaining when Aiken finished with a 9-3 run. Back-to-back threes from Triahna Harris and Nakia Pinkney brought Aiken to within 60-57 with 19 seconds left.
"It was a little out of control the last two minutes," said Britsky. "They made a roaring comeback to put themselves back in the game. It basically came down to us getting the ball in bounds and getting fouled."
Catherine Cain led Aiken (5-6, 0-2) with 15 points, and Pinkney had 10.
GSW hosts Montevallo at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
---- Milestone within reach
Brittany Reynolds needs 11 points to reach 1,000 points in her GSW career
PICTURED: Brittany Reynolds
PHOTO BY: Chris Fenn