USC Aiken Defeats North Georgia

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AIKEN, S.C. - The University of South Carolina Aiken men's basketball team posted an 83-76 victory over North Georgia Saturday afternoon.

The Pacers are now 13-9 on the year and 9-3 in league play.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice's team was led by Faison Brock's 29 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. Gus Rowland accounted for 19 points and eight assists. Shaquan Jules tallied 14 points and six boards while Xzavier Barmore totaled 11 points and four steals.

Damontez Oliver chipped in six points while Dhieu Deing added four points.

In the first half, USC Aiken found itself trailing 24-15 with 10:19 to go. However, Rowland found Brock for a jumper. Rowland nailed a three-point play to pull the home squad within five at 24-20. Down 29-22, Brock and Rowland accounted for the next five points, but UNG continued to keep the Pacers at bay.

Trailing 34-29 with 3:43 to go in the half, Vanderslice's team closed the period on an 8-2 spurt. During the run, Brock hit a runner. Damontez Oliver connected on two free throws before Brock hit another jumper. Trailing 36-35 with under a minute to go, Jules went baseline and threw down a thunderous dunk for a one-point lead at intermission.

The Nighthawks regained the lead in the second period. Trailing 49-43, Jules, Barmore and Rowland each hit buckets to knot the contest at 49-49. Brock's jumper with 12:33 to go pushed the advantage to 58-52.

UNG took a 65-63 advantage, but Rowland hit a lay-up and Deing's free throw pushed it to 68-65. Rowland found Brock for a three ball with 4:17 to play for a 73-65 advantage.

The visitors cut within two at 76-74, but could get no closer as Barmore's three-point play extended the margin to six at 82-76 with 36 seconds to go. Rowland hit one-of-two from the stripe for the final tally.

For the game, USC Aiken hit 31-of-58 from the floor (53.4 percent), including eight-of-17 from downtown (47.1 percent). Vanderslice's team had a 42-32 edge in the paint and outscored the visitors 15-12 in second chance points.

The Pacers return to action Wednesday, Feb. 5, when they play at Francis Marion at 7:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com.