Saturday, January 3, 2009.
AIKEN, S.C. – Chris Commons tallied his second double-double in the last three games and the No. 2 USC Aiken Pacers stayed perfect in the Peach Belt Conference with a 94-79 victory over North Georgia before 1,987 fans on Community Night at the Convocation Center on Saturday evening.
The victory by the Pacers improved USC Aiken to 17-0 during the regular season inside the friendly confines of the Convocation Center. USC Aiken is 11-0 against Peach Belt Conference opposition in its home arena.
Commons, who also had 25 points and 11 rebounds in USC Aiken’s game with Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) last week, finished the win over the Saints with a season-best 29 points and 13 rebounds. The senior from Toledo, Ohio (Findlay) also had three blocks. He was 12-for-19 from the field overall.
Always able, but not usually known as a deep threat, Commons was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc in the 15-point victory over North Georgia.
Javonte Clanton (Columbus, Ohio/Blinn College) joined Commons as one of the two Pacers who scored 20 or more in the victory. Clanton set his Pacer high for the second consecutive game in the contest, scoring 21 points. The guard also had seven assists.
Clanton was 6-for-7 from the floor and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe.
The duo of Commons and Clanton were two of four Pacers in total in double figures in the win with Casey McMasters (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and Seth Leonard (York, Pa./William Penn) both scoring in double digits for USC Aiken on Saturday. McMasters was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc en route to 11 points in total, while Leonard ended the game with 10 points and six rebounds.
The Saints had three players end their efforts in the loss in double figures with Michael Moynihan scoring a team-high 20 points. Moynihan shot a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range. Reigning Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week LaBrian Lyons ended the game with 14 points, and Anthony Rowe closed out the Saints in double digits with his 13 points. Rowe also had seven caroms in the loss.
The Pacers never trailed in the contest, extending their lead to as many as 21 points with 6:43 left in the first half. North Georgia would hang around for the rest of the game, but USC Aiken’s lead was never seriously in doubt.
USC Aiken shot 54.4 percent (31-for-57) from the field in the game, shooting over 50 percent in both halves. The Pacers were 11-for-21 (52.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
North Georgia was held under 40 percent in the game by the Pacers, ending the evening shooting 38.5 percent (25-for-65). The Saints were 9-for-23 (39.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
USC Aiken controlled all aspects of the game overall, outscoring the Saints 34-22 in the paint and scoring four more points (17-13) off turnovers. USC Aiken was also able to claim the better bench in the game, producing 23 points compared to North Georgia’s 17 from its bench.
The victory by USC Aiken snaps the Pacers’ first two-game regular season slide in almost two years and improves the Pacers to 7-2 overall. USC Aiken is now 2-0 in defense of their 2007-08 Peach Belt Conference crown.