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Pacers edge Metress, Augusta 71-69

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 11:38 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team notched a 71-69 victory at Augusta Wednesday evening.

The Pacers are now 8-5 overall and 7-5 in league play. The Jaguars stand at 6-6 overall and 4-6 in the PBC.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice’s team was led by Anyeuri Castillo’s 19 points on seven-of-12 shooting. Tehree Horn accounted for 16 points while Latreavin Black chipped in 13 points, six boards and four assists. Gus Rowland distributed five assists in the victory.

Tied at 12-12, Castillo buried a three-point shot off a pass from Black. A Tyler Johnson lay-up pushed the margin to five at the 11:25 mark. Leading 19-15, Horn canned a jumper. Johnson found Castillo for a bucket before Horn nailed a shot, extending the lead to 10 at 25-15.

Damontez Oliver and Castillo made three-point shots on back-to-back possessions for a 33-20 advantage with 4:04 to go in the half. After the Jaguars pulled within eight, Gus Rowland found Castillo for a three-ball, giving the visitors a 40-29 edge at intermission.

Augusta outscored USC Aiken 21-9 to start the second half, gaining a 50-49 lead with 11:01 to play. From that point forward, it was a back-and-forth affair.

Trailing 63-61, Horn took a pass from Rowland and drilled a three-point shot with 2:41 to go. Moments later, Black secured an offensive board, kicked it to Horn who once again dialed up a long-distance basket. A Jaguar score with 19 ticks on the clock made it 67-65.

With 15 seconds to go, Horn was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Darius Bell fought off two AU student-athletes to grab the board. After being fouled, Bell hit two free throws, pushing the score to 69-65. USC Aiken committed a foul with two seconds remaining and the Jaguars hit a free throw. After missing the second charity toss, Black made two free throws for a 71-66 lead. The Jaguars hit a three-point shot at the buzzer for the final score.

For the game, USC Aiken hit 26-of-59 from the floor (44.1 percent), including 11-of-25 from the three-point stripe (44.0 percent). The Pacers converted eight turnovers into 15 points. Vanderslice’s team recorded 15 offensive boards and tallied 18 second-chance points.

The Pacers return to action Saturday when they host Francis Marion at 3:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.

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