AIKEN, S.C. – University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball coach Mark Vanderslice picked up his 100th win as a Pacer as his team defeated Georgia Southwestern 68-53 Thursday evening.
The Pacers are now 7-3 overall and 1-0 in league play. The Hurricanes fall to 3-5 on the year and 0-1 against conference foes.
David Strother led the squad with 18 points and seven rebounds. Preston Parks notched 13 points and seven boards to go along with four steals. Tehree Horn posted 11 points and six rebounds while Tyler Johnson hit double figures with 10 markers.
Vanderslice’s team jumped out to a 17-3 advantage and never looked back. The squad forced 14 first-half turnovers en route to a 28-10 lead at the break. During the first 20 minutes of action, the Pacers held the visitors to four-of-26 shooting (15.3 percent) from the floor, including just one-of-14 from distance (7.1 percent).
During the initial run, Jalen McCoy netted the first six points for the home squad. Up 8-3, Parks nailed a three-ball and Johnson converted a lay-up after a steal from Samba Ndiaye. A lay-up by Caleb Furr and a jumper by LaTreavin Black gave the Pacers a 17-3 lead. USC Aiken never looked back in the win.
The largest lead of the game came just eight seconds into the second period when Parks found Strother for a bucket, making it 30-10. The Hurricanes pulled within 12 points a couple times, but each time Vanderslice’s team answered quickly.
For the game, USC Aiken hit 26-of-66 from the floor (39.4 percent). The squad also canned 13-of-16 from the charity stripe (81.3 percent). Vanderslice’s squad held a 46-37 edge on the glass. The home team forced 24 turnovers and converted the miscues into 28 points in the contest.
The next game for the Pacers is Dec. 31 when they play at Wingate. The game is slated to start at 1 p.m.