USC Aiken set records in wins over Francis Marion

By  | 

FLORENCE, S.C. – Eighth-year head men’s basketball coach Vince Alexander became the all-time wins leader in USC Aiken men’s basketball history in the Pacers’ 108-79 Peach Belt Conference victory over Francis Marion at the Smith University Center on Monday evening.

The win was Alexander’s 130th at the helm of the Pacer men’s basketball program. He surpassed Larry Epperley (1987-97), who ended his career with 129 wins, for the most wins in program history.

Alexander is now 130-87 as the Pacer mentor. He is 219-151 in 14 years as a head coach overall.

Alexander’s record-setting win came emphatically as the Pacers held the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense to just 79 total points. Francis Marion (4-3, 0-2 PBC) had entered the game averaging 113 points per game.

The Pacer offense in turn exploded for 108 points. The 108 points marked the first time the Pacers had scored over 100 in a game since downing Francis Marion, 105-98, in double overtime at the Convocation Center on Feb. 22, 2012.

The win was the third straight for the Pacers.

USC Aiken (5-2, 2-0 PBC) had three players score over 20 points with both Santoine Butler (Augusta, Ga./Gardner-Webb) and Paul Larsen (Mooresville, N.C./Mercer) setting career-highs.

Scintillating Santoine used a vast array of explosive dunks and strong play underneath to finish his efforts with 27 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. He was 10-for-14 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the game.

FLORENCE, S.C. – Behind a double-double from Kayla Harris, the nationally third-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team picked up a 74-55 Peach Belt Conference road victory over Francis Marion on Monday evening at the Smith University Center.

The win allowed USC Aiken to improve to a perfect 8-0 (2-0 PBC) on the 2012-13 season. The 8-0 start ties the 1990-91 USC Aiken women’s basketball team for the best start in program history.

Francis Marion (5-3, 0-2 PBC) opened the game by taking a 10-5 lead through the first six minutes of the contest. The lead would not last long with USC Aiken going on an 11-2 run over the next almost four minutes to take the lead at 16-12.

Francis Marion would then go on a run of its own to take a five-point lead at 28-23 with 3:38 to play in the first half.

USC Aiken would not be deterred, going on an 8-3 run to close the half that was punctuated by a Mia Antoine long-range jumper that tied the game at 31-31 just before the final buzzer of the first half.

The second half would be all Pacers.

The Pacers opened the second half by taking the lead back at 34-31 after a Kayla Harris three-point play.

The three-point play by Harris to commence the stanza would be the beginning of a first 3:15 of the second half that saw USC Aiken go on an 11-2 run to take a nine-point 42-33 lead with 16:45 to play in the half.

The Pacers would continue to extend their lead over the next nine minutes with USC Aiken owning an 18-point advantage at 58-40 with just over seven minutes to play in the contest.

USC Aiken would eventually outscore Francis Marion, 43-24, in the second half in claiming the 19-point victory over the Patriots.

Harris (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield HS) finished the Pacer win with 26 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds. She also had four assists. Harris was 12-for-21 from the field in the game.