Pacers survive in overtime against Lander in overtime thriller 74-73

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AIKEN, S.C. – A last-second shot by Jalen McCoy sent the game to overtime and the University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team registered a 74-73 win over Lander Wednesday evening. 

The Pacers are now 8-4 overall and 2-0 in league play. The Bearcats stand at 6-5 overall and 1-1 in PBC action.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice‘s team was paced by Preston Parks’ game-high 18 points. David Strother added 17 points, eight reobounds, five assists and three steals. McCoy posted 11 points and six rebounds while Tyler Johnson chipped in nine points.

Samba Ndiaye registered four points and had seven rebounds while Demitrios Dixon tallied seven points.

Trailing 28-21 in the waning seconds of the first half, Dixon went to the ground and registered a steal and flipped it to LaTreavin Black. He got it to Parks for a lay-up, making it 28-23 at the half.   

USC Aiken tied the contest a couple times in the early going of the second half, but the Bearcats managed to maintain an advantage. A four-point play by Parks gave USC Aiken its first lead of the game, coming at 45-44. A three-ball from Caleb Furr pushed the lead to four, 48-44. 

A back-and-forth affair the rest of the way saw Vanderslice’s team take a 65-62 lead on a jumper from McCoy. However, Lander netted the next five points, taking a 67-65 lead with 14 seconds to go. After the ball went out of bounds with 1.2 seconds to play, Strother found McCoy for a tip-in, sending the game into overtime.

Parks found McCoy for a three-point shot after a steal by Black to start overtime. Black connected with McCoy for a jumper, making it 72-67. Leading 72-71, McCoy hit a shot in the paint with 38 seconds to play. The Bearcats clawed within one on a jumper with 21 ticks remaining. 

Lander snagged a missed free throw with nine seconds to go. After a time-out with five seconds to play, Strother registered a last-second steal, sending USC Aiken to victory. 

For the game, USC Aiken hit 29-of-71 from the floor (40.8 percent), including 11-of-35 from the three-point line (31.4 percent). The squad pulled down eight offensive rebounds, resulting in 12 second-chance points. Vanderslice’s team registered 30 points in the paint and had 16 points off 21 miscues by the visitors.

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

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