AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team took down top-seeded Augusta 84-77 in the second round of the NCAA Southeast Region Tournament Sunday evening.

The Pacers are now 24-8 on the year while the Jaguars end their season at 27-6.

USC Aiken defeated Augusta all three times this season and will play in the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice‘s team was led by Tyler Johnson’s 18-point performance on eight-of-13 shooting from the floor. Tehree Horn added 16 points and six rebounds while Karon Boyd tallied 15 points on six-of-nine shooting from the field.

Jalen McCoy netted 14 markers while Jameel Rideout contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. Demitrios Dixon chipped in six points while Samba Ndiaye added two in the win.

The Jaguars opened the game with a three-point shot but Rideout tied it a minute later on a three-point shot of his own. Johnson fired home a shot from downtown before Boyd’s jumper pushed the score to 8-3. McCoy and Rideout hit back-to-back lay-ups before Johnson ended the 14-0 spurt with an inside shot at the 13:21 mark.

A Dixon three-point bucket at the 10:38 mark increased the margin to 15, 21-6. Leading 23-16, Johnson scored four straight points before Rideout hit a free throw for a 28-16 advantage with 4:40 to play in the first half. Up 36-27, Johnson hit a jumper with 33 ticks on the clock. The Jaguars made a shot at the buzzer, making it 38-29 at the break.

In the first 20 minutes of action, USC Aiken buried 17-of-26 from the floor (65.4 percent), including three-of-five from downtown (60.0 percent). Johnson led everyone with 13 points while McCoy and Rideout each had eight points in the first half. Horn had two points but had a game-best six boards at the break.

USC Aiken’s biggest lead at that point was 15 at the 10:38 mark. The squad held the advantage for 17:22. The team had an 18-12 edge in the paint and netted seven points on the break compared to two by the Jaguars. Vanderslice’s team was productive off the bench in the first half, outscoring AU 11-7.

The Jaguars trimmed the deficit to six at the 18:09 mark but Horn took a pass from Dixon and converted the rare four-point play. Up 47-42, Boyd and Horn combined for back-to back baskets, giving the visitors a nine-point edge at the 14:14 mark.

Augusta hit a jumper with 9:01 to play to make it 59-53 but Johnson took a pass from Boyd and found the bottom of the net from deep. Seconds later, Rideout hit a free throw for a 63-53 margin.

Leading 73-68, Ndiaye was fouled and he promptly hit both free throws for a 75-68 margin at the 3:04 mark. Up 75-69, Rideout weaved past three defenders and laid the ball high off the glass for a lay-up.

With 55 seconds to play, AU converted a three-point play, making it 79-74. Boyd hit a free throw and after forcing a missed three-ball, Rideout was fouled. He nailed both charity tosses for an 82-74 advantage with 38.6 seconds to play. Horn was fouled with 16.5 seconds to go and canned both attempts for the 84-77 final.   

For the game, USC Aiken hit 30-of-50 form the floor (60.0 percent), including seven-of-12 from downtown (58.3 percent). The squad netted 17-of-23 from the charity stripe (73.9 percent).

Vanderslice’s team recorded 20 points off the bench and held a 34-30 advantage in the paint. The team also maintained a 15-8 edge in fast break points. After taking the 6-3 lead at the 17:22 mark of the first half, USC Aiken never relinquished the advantage.

The Pacers return to action Tuesday in the NCAA Southeast Region Championship at 7 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at