USC Aiken Men's And Women's Basketball Teams Win At Francis Marion
FLORENCE, S.C. (USC-Aiken Sports Information) – Having led for much of the contest, head coach Mike Brandt’s team delivered a 12-5 run to close the game as the University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team registered a 73-68 victory at Francis Marion Saturday afternoon.
The Pacers are now 5-13 overall, including a 3-6 mark against Peach Belt Conference competition.
Redshirt-freshman Amaura Brandt connected for a career and game-high 20 points on seven-of-13 shooting from the floor, including a six-of-12 effort from behind the three-point stripe. Junior Courtney Mealing totaled 12 points while junior Mackenzie Reese went for a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Mariah Durian hit for 11 points and Porsha Martin chipped in eight.
Brandt’s team drained 26-of-61 shots from the floor (42.6 percent) and USC Aiken held the home team to 23-of-68 from the field (33.8 percent). The Pacers nailed 11 three-point shots (35.5 percent) and limited FMU to a four-of-19 effort (21.1 percent). USC Aiken also buried all 10 of its free throw attempts, tying the school record for efficiency (100 percent). The Pacers also distributed 20 assists on their 26 made field goals.
Amaura Brandt got things going for the visitors with a three-pointer just 13 seconds into the game. Reese hit a lay-up and Brandt drilled another three for a quick 8-0 lead at the 18:15 mark. After the Patriots trimmed the margin to four, Brandt hit another three and Martin buried a shot on the break for a 15-6 advantage.
Mealing converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 2:23 to play before intermission, giving USC Aiken a 37-30 lead. However, the Patriots reeled off four of the next six points, making it a 39-34 score at the break.
FMU cut the lead to two just 25 seconds into the second period, but Durian made a three-point bucket and Mealing took a pass from Martin and found the bottom of the net for a seven-point edge.
Up by five at the 13:56 mark, Kate Duff connected on a three-pointer off a pass from Mealing. She then converted a lay-up on a fast break off a nice look from Brandt, giving USC Aiken its first double-digit lead of the game at 51-41.
However, the Patriots scored the next 12 points, forcing a time-out with 8:07 to go.
Out of the break, Brandt hit a three-pointer. FMU countered with five straight points and a 58-54 lead.
Once again, there was no quit in the Pacers. USC Aiken took a 61-60 lead with 3:27 to play when Reese made both free throws. The Patriots hit a three, but Durian answered with one of her own. Durian’s bucket gave the Pacers a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. USC Aiken closed the game on a 7-3 run as Brandt hit a three while Reese and Durian each connected on two foul shots, securing the victory.
The Pacers return to action Wednesday when they play at Flagler. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.
No. 13 USC Aiken Races Past Patriots
FLORENCE, S.C. – The No. 13 University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team led 2-0 before the opening tip thanks in part to a technical foul and easily posted its 12th consecutive victory with a 91-73 win at Francis Marion Saturday afternoon.
The Pacers are now 17-2 overall, including a 9-0 mark against Peach Belt Conference competition.
Senior Jesse Seilern had a huge day for head coach Vince Alexander’s team as he netted a game-high 20 points on seven-of-12 shooting from the floor. Floor general DeVontae Wright added 17 markers and added a team-high six assists. Paul Larsen notched 16 points and eight rebounds while Rick Alderman came off the bench to pour in a season-high 15 points, including a seven-for-eight effort from the charity stripe.
USC Aiken sizzled from the floor, connecting on 33-of-52 shots for the contest (63.5 percent), including a six-of-14 effort (42.9 percent) from downtown. For good measure, the Pacers buried 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) from the foul line.
Alexander’s team out-rebounded the home squad 33-24.
Before the game started, a technical foul was issued to Francis Marion. Wright calmly sank both free throws. The squad raced to a 16-2 advantage as Wright tallied eight and Alvin Brown netted four during the run.
However, the Patriots rallied back to take a 28-26 lead with 5:09 to play in the opening half. The lead changed twice more before Alderman’s lay-up off a pass from Brown gave the Pacers the lead for the rest of the period at 32-31. Seilern buried a three on the next possession. Then, Brown blocked a shot and Wright drained a fast break jumper for a 37-31 lead. Seilern’s pull-up three pushed the margin to nine at 40-31 and USC Aiken claimed a 40-36 lead at the break.
It was tied at 42 early in the second half but Seilern’s free throw gave the Pacers a 43-42 advantage with 18 minutes to go in the game. Ronald Zimmerman’s three-pointer at the 12:57 mark pushed the margin to 11 at 57-46.
The Patriots cut the lead to single digits once more, but it did not last long. With just 27 seconds remaining, Hendrix Emu canned two free throws for the Pacers’ largest lead of the game at 91-73.
The Pacers return to action Wednesday when they play at Flagler. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.