Tuesday Dec. 30, 2008
LAKELAND, Fla. – Javonte Clanton scored a team-best 19 points, but it was not enough as No. 2 USC Aiken dropped its second consecutive game by the score of 83-75 to host Florida Southern on Tuesday evening in the Florida Southern Holiday Inn South/Ledger Classic at the Jenkins Field House.
The second straight loss by the Pacers marks the first time since the 2006-07 campaign that USC Aiken has conceded two straight games during the regular season. The Pacers never lost two in a row during their Peach Belt Conference championship season in 2007-08.
The Pacers trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, but pushed their way back into the game with just under eight minutes left in the contest by squaring the contest at 62-62.
The momentum that the Pacers had generated would quickly change with the Mocs going on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 75-62 lead.
USC Aiken (6-2) showed their resolve over the next two minutes by going on a 9-0 run that cut the Florida Southern lead to four at 75-71.
The Pacers would then get as close as three at 78-75 with 30 seconds left. Florida Southern’s Rob Eldridge then hit one of two free throws to place the Mocs ahead by four. Josh Dollard (Hemingway, S.C./Auburn) had a chance to cut the FSC lead to one, but his three-point attempt nipped the front of the rim and the Mocs hit their free throws in the waning moments to earn the eight-point victory.
USCA’s Clanton (Columbus, Ohio/Blinn College) was 5-for-9 from the field in the loss to the Mocs, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. He was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He was one of four Pacers in double figures.