USC Aiken thumps Lenoir-Rhyne 88-70

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1998 in dominating fashion over Lenoir-Rhyne University on Saturday afternoon with an 88-70 victory over the Bears. The Pacers never trailed in the game on the way to the dominating victory.

The Pacers advance to the semifinal round of the Southeast Regional of the NCAA Division II Tournament where they will face a familiar foe in the Southeast Region semifinals in Catawba College.

The Pacers and Indians will square off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 at Christenberry Fieldhouse for the right to move on to the NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen.”

The last time USC Aiken advanced to the semifinals of the Southeast Regional in 1998 the Pacers fell to the same Catawba team they will face in tomorrow’s showdown at 5 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.

The total team effort by USC Aiken on Saturday involved eight Pacers playing double-digit minutes as USC Aiken dominated inside and out all afternoon.

Five Pacers scored in double figures in USC Aiken’s best shooting performance of the season as Vince Alexander’s squad connected on 33-of-49 attempts, shooting a season high 67. 3 percent from the floor. USC Aiken dominated inside, outscoring Lenior-Rhyne 51-22 in the paint and outrebounding the Bears 32-17 on the glass.

Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year and consensus first team all-region member Chris Commons (Toledo, Ohio/Findlay) led all scorers with 27 points in a clinical individual shooting performance. Commons shot 12-for-15 from the floor to go along with five rebounds, three assists and a block.