AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team notched an 88-79 victory over Flagler Wednesday evening.
The Pacers are now 11-6 on the year and 7-0 in league play.
Head coach Mark Vanderslice’s team was led by Faison Brock’s 26 points and nine rebounds. Gus Rowland totaled 22 points and nine boards. Dhieu Deing posted 14 points and six rebounds while Shaquan Jules tallied 10 points and six rebounds.
Tied at 7-7, Brock converted a lay-up and Rowland’s steal and score put the team up by four. Brock added two charity tosses before Rowland went the length of the court for a lay-up. Xzavier Barmore’s two free throws with 11:03 to go in the half pushed the lead to 11 at 23-12.
Up 35-28, Deing drilled a three-ball off a pass from Rowland. Brock’s jumper in the lane seconds later extended the margin to 12, 40-28. In a flurry with time running out, Rowland missed a three-point shot and Brock raced to the corner to try and heave up a last-second shot. He was fouled with less than a second to play and calmly converted two free throws for a 46-34 advantage heading into the second half.
Vanderslice’s squad embarked on a 16-8 spurt over the first 5:05. Rob Hill’s pass to Rowland for the basket extended the lead to 20, 62-42, with 14:55 to play. However, the Saints battled back and trimmed the deficit to single digits with 3:56 to go.
The teams traded points, but USC Aiken was up by just seven at 85-78, with 47 seconds to go. Strong defense allowed the Pacers to limit the visitors to just one point the rest of the way while picking up the nine-point victory.
For the game, USC Aiken hit 31-of-62 from the floor and 20-of-27 from the foul line. The squad out-rebounded the visitors 47-34 and held a 48-34 advantage in the paint. Vanderslice’s team scored 20 points off miscues and maintained a 13-5 edge in second-chance points.
The Pacers return to action Saturday when they play at Young Harris at 3:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.