USC Aiken roll in conference battle with Flagler

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AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken, ranked No. 12 in the latest national poll, jumped on top of Flagler early and never looked back en route to an 83-58 victory over the Saints.

The Pacers are now 22-3 overall, including a 14-1 mark against Peach Belt Conference foes.

Leading the way for head coach Vince Alexander's team was Alvin Brown, who poured in 19 points, had eight blocks and grabbed seven rebounds. All of those totals were team-high accolades.

Brown was one of four Pacers in double figures as DeVontae Wright added 16 points and a game-high five assists. Shane Porchea and Rick Alderman each netted 10 points. Alderman's turnaround jumper in the second half propelled the senior to his 1,000th-career point. He now has 1,005 for his illustrious career.

The Pacers converted 12 turnovers into 16 points and held a 16-3 margin in points off miscues. USC Aiken's bench also outscored the Saints 28-15. Alexander's squad maintained a 45-40 advantage in rebounds and blocked 11 shots compared to seven for the Saints.

After a close game at Flagler recently, the Pacers ensured a close contest would not happen again. USC Aiken jumped out to an 11-0 lead just 2:41 into the game. Wright made a pair of free throws and Brown slammed home a lob from Paul Larsen for a 4-0 edge.

Brown and Larsen hit back-to-back jumpers before Jesse Seilern's three-point bomb pushed the lead to 11.

The Pacers would continue to apply pressure, taking a 23-8 lead when Derrick Scott hit an old-fashioned three-point play and Wright connected on two free throws.

Although the Saints would pull within four with 5:04 to play in the opening period, Brown slammed home another shot, sparking an 8-4 run to end the half.

USC Aiken netted the first four points of the second frame after Larsen hit a charity toss and Seilern pulled up for a deep three-point basket.

The Pacers maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way despite Flagler trying to creep back into the contest.

With the score at 71-58 at the 3:25 mark, Wright's corner three-point bucket off a pass from Alderman made it a 16-point ballgame. The shot also sparked a 12-0 run to end the game.

AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken women's basketball team led by 14 at halftime en route to a 62-52 victory over visiting Flagler Monday evening in a Peach Belt Conference contest.

The Pacers (8-16, 6-9 PBC) extended their lead to 22 points with seven minutes to go in the second half and connected on free throws down the stretch to hold off the Saints.

The two teams started out neck-and-neck for much of the first half of play, but a Mackenzie Reese jumper with 7:30 to go in the stanza spurred a 17-4 run for the home team to close out the half. The final stretch gave the Pacers a 30-18 lead heading into the half time break and was highlighted by Porsha Martin scoring six of the Pacers' 15 points. She would finish the night with eight points as she was held to just two points in the second half.

The young squad continued to learn Monday night as they once again saw its lead whittled down to as many as eight points with 13 seconds remaining before settling for the final 10-point margin.

The Pacers were led in scoring by Mariah Durian's 13 points off a 6-for-12 shooting performance while Courtney Mealing and Kassy Johannsen each added nine. Durian had only recorded three points in each of the last two contests while Reese led the team Monday night off the glass with nine rebounds to go along with five assists and five points.