No. 7 USC Aiken outlasts Flager in overtime, 96-92

Local Sports

The No. 7 University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team defeated Flagler 96-92 in overtime Wednesday evening.

The Pacers improve to 14-1 on the year and 8-1 in league play. The Saints fall to 5-8 on the year and 2-5 against conference foes.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice‘s team was led by Xzavier Barmore’s team-best 22 points. Ty’lik Evans contributed 21 points and tied the school-record with eight steals. Robert Hill tallied a double-double with 19 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Faison Brock totaled 16 points and seven boards. 

Doniel Dean narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and eight assists. Shaquan Jules contributed nine markers in the victory.

Vanderslice’s squad jumped out to a 10-2 lead on an old-fashioned three-point play from Brock. The Saints battled back, tying the contest at 24-24 with 8:10 to go in the first half. However, USC Aiken embarked on a 9-0 run. Brock hit a jumper and Jules connected on four consecutive points. Brock hit a twisting lay-up off a pass from Evans before Jules finished the run with a free throw at the 5:38 mark.

The Pacers pushed the score to 14 at 40-26 on a lay-up by Hill, but a late run by Flagler made it 40-35 at the break.

The Saints took a 74-66 lead with 6:56 to play in regulation, but USC Aiken sliced into the margin after a jumper from Dean and a pair of free throws by Evans. Trailing 76-70, Evans and Dean each hit a free throw. Dean found Brock on a fast break for a three-ball, pulling the team within one at 76-75. On the ensuing possession, Barmore found Evans for a three-point shot.

Flagler took an 81-80 lead, but Barmore bounced back and hit a lay-up. Tied at 84-84, Brock hit a lay-up. The Saints tied it and USC Aiken missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

Hill opened the extra session with a thunderous dunk off a pass from Barmore. Dean hit a pair of charity tosses and Hill made one-of-two for a 91-86 edge. After the Saints pulled within one at 91-90 with 2:06 to play, Evans nailed a three-ball for a four-point margin.

Leading 94-92, Barmore missed a jumper, got the rebound and put it back up for the final tally.

The Pacers return to action Saturday when they host Clayton State at 3:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.

COURTESY USC AIKEN SPORTS INFORMATION

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