USC Aiken men win easily, Women fall flat

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Saturday, February 14, 2009.

AIKEN, S.C. – Chris Commons led five players in double figures in No. 15 USC Aiken’s 85-67 victory over Georgia Southwestern on Saturday at the Convocation Center.

The victory improves the Pacers to 17-5 overall on the year. USC Aiken is now 12-3 in the Peach Belt Conference.

USC Aiken entered Saturday’s game with Georgia Southwestern tied with Georgia College & State for second place in the PBC. The Bobcats fell 70-62 to Lander on Saturday, leaving the Pacers in sole possession of second place in the league behind rival Augusta State.

The Jaguars have played one more game than USC Aiken in the league, giving them a slim half-game lead over USC Aiken. Augusta State is 13-3 in PBC play.

Commons (Toledo, Ohio/Findlay) was 8-for-11 from the field in the win. The reigning PBC Co-Player of the Year was a perfect 1-for-1 on his three-point attempts in the victory. Commons was 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He also had a game-high two blocks.

Commons’ 21 points gives him 11 games with 20 or more points in the 2008-09 campaign. Since joining the Pacers prior to the 2007-08 campaign, Commons has scored over 20 for USC Aiken in 31 games.

Senior forward Cody Ballard (Westerville, Ohio/Morehead State) led four Pacers who finished with just over 10 points in the win over the Hurricanes. Ballard hit four free throws and knocked down four of his seven shots from the floor. The Morehead State transfer also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the game.

Junior Casey McMasters (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) came off the bench to score 11 points in the win for the Pacers. McMasters nailed three 3-points to collect nine of the 11 points.

Javonte Clanton (Columbus, Ohio/Blinn College) and Kingsley Oguchi (Houston, Texas/George Bush) rounded out the Pacers in double digits in the game with each posting 10 points in the win.

Anthony Sargent led three Hurricanes in double figures in the loss to USC Aiken, ending his efforts with a team-high 13 points.

USC Aiken shot better than 50 percent from the floor in both halves of the Georgia Southwestern victory, shooting a scorching 53.8 percent (28-for-52) from the field overall in the game. Georgia Southwestern shot 49 percent (24-for-49), but the Pacers’ 47.6 percent (10-of-21) shooting from beyond the arc was one of the stories of the game.

In total, the Pacers shot almost 20 percent better than the Hurricanes (29.4) from beyond the arc, but the Pacers were able to knock down five more three-pointers (10-5) in the game with their strong effort.

The game was never really in doubt with the Pacers controlling the play in the contest from tip-off. The lead changed hands three times in the first half, but that was all in the opening two minutes with Georgia Southwestern’s largest lead coming at two points with 19:38 left in the first half.

The Pacers went up by as many as 16 points in the half, entering halftime with a 13-point 47-34 lead.

The second half would open with the Hurricanes going on an 11-2 run to start the half to cut the Pacer advantage to 49-45 with 17:26 left in the game.

The run forced USC Aiken head coach Vince Alexander to take a time out. Alexander did a tremendous job rallying his troops during the time out with USC Aiken taking over from that point forward.

The Pacers pushed their lead to as many as 22 points with 3:21 left in the game before settling on the 18-point win over the Hurricanes.

The win keeps USC Aiken perfect during the regular season in the Convocation Center since the facility opened its doors prior to the start of the 2007-08 season. USC Aiken is now 23-0 during the regular season inside the friendly confines of the Convocation Center.

AIKEN, S.C. – Senior forward Morgan Johnson scored 16points to go along with 14 rebounds and four assists in USC Aiken’s (17-8, 9-6 PBC) 69-55 loss to Georgia Southwestern on Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.

A two-time Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week selection this season, Johnson (Marietta, Ga./ Presbyterian College) surpassed the 1,000 point threshold for her career last week in the Pacers win over Clayton State.

She is still just three blocks shy of becoming the all-time leader at USCA in blocked shots with 119 career swats presently.

Two other Pacers scored in double figures for head coach Mike Brant’s squad in the loss to Georgia Southwestern on Saturday.

Meredith Legg (Huntersville, N.C./ Hopewell HS) scored 16 points, including two three-pointers. The two treys leave her just six three-pointers shy of No. 300 for her career.

Legg is already the all-time leader in three-pointers made in PBC history.

Kendra Chandler (Aiken, S.C./ Aiken HS) was the other Pacer in double figures, posting 13 points to go along with her five boards in the game.

USCA did not visit the free-throw line in the first half and went just 8-of-24 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.

The Pacers turned the ball over 14 times before halftime.

Georgia Southwestern also struggled from the floor early, shooting 6-of-24 in the first half, but the Hurricanes connected on 7-of-10 free throw attempts to lead 20-17 at halftime.

The Pacers more than doubled their scoring output from the first half in the final 20 minutes, scoring 38 points on 12-of-31 shooting, including 13-of-21 from the charity stripe.

The Hurricanes held their advantage in both categories into the second half, connecting on 12-of-24 from the floor and 23-of-27 at the line en route to the 69-55 win.