Pacers stun rival Augusta Jaguars in thriller 64-63


AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team overcame a seven-point deficit in the second half and notched a 64-63 victory over Augusta Wednesday evening.

The Pacers are now 6-2 on the year and 5-1 in league play. The Jaguars dropped to 5-3 overall and 3-3 against PBC teams.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice‘s team was led by Gus Rowland’s 15 points while Donaven Hairston contributed 13 points. Tehree Horn chipped in 12 points while Quincy Canty accounted for 11 points.

Latreavin Black totaled seven points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the victory. Rowland and Tyler Johnson garnered four steals apiece.

Down 12-11, Canty took a pass from Hairston and drilled a three-point shot. After a Johnson steal and lay-up, USC Aiken held a 16-12 advantage. The Pacers found themselves down 22-19 but Hairston hit a jumper, pulling the team within one. Moments later, a pair of Rowland free throws knotted the contest at 24-24.

Augusta held a 26-24 lead before Rowland found Hairston for a lay-up. Rowland dished a pass to Canty for another shot from distance, giving USC Aiken a 29-26 lead. However, the Jaguars tied the game right before the buzzer sounded at intermission.

The Pacers trailed 43-36 before Black hit a jumper. A lay-up by Hairston and a three-ball from Canty knotted the contest. Down 52-51, Hairston found Black for a bucket. Rowland’s basket put USC Aiken up 55-52.

Vanderslice’s squad led 60-57 before Black found Hairston for a twisting lay-up. Augusta hit a three-ball, but Rowland connected for two free throws for a 64-60 margin. With 10 seconds to go, the Jaguars hit a three-point shot.

With less than a second to play, AU corralled a missed free throw and called time-out. Trying to go the length of the court, Darius Bell tipped the pass, starting the clock and ending the hopes of the Jaguars while giving the home team the one-point win.

For the game, USC Aiken hit 24-of-61 from the floor (39.3 percent), including seven-of-23 from downtown (30.4 percent). The Pacers snagged 13 offensive rebounds. Vanderslice’s team accounted for 13 steals and notched 25 points off turnovers. USC Aiken also had 32 points in the paint.

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