AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men's basketball team posted an 83-75 victory over Elizabeth City State Sunday afternoon in a non-conference contest.
The Pacers are now 5-0 on the season while the Vikings fall to 2-3.
Head coach Mark Vanderslice's team had five student-athletes in double figures, including Ty'lik Evans, who posted a game-high 24 points to go along with 10 boards for a double-double. Evans netted 17 markers in the opening half.
Xzavier Barmore and Doniel Dean each contributed 14 markers. Dean dished out a game-best eight assists while also snagging six rebounds.
Faison Brock and Robert Hill reached double figures as each connected for 11 points. Brock accounted for seven boards and two blocks while Hill controlled six rebounds and swatted away a pair of shot attempts.
USC Aiken fell behind 11-5 early, but Brock hit a charity toss, Evans connected for five straight points and Dean hit a pair of charity tosses for a 12-11 edge.
The Pacers extended the margin to eight after Dean hit a lay-up, Shaquan Jules threw down a dunk and Evans buried a three-ball. Vanderslice's squad pushed the margin to double figures with 8:51 to play with Evans took a pass from Dean and found the bottom of the net from downtown.
USC Aiken saw its lead dwindle to three at the break after the Vikings closed the first half on a 9-2 spurt.
The Pacers had to fight off the Vikings in the early going of the second half, but managed to extend the lead to 10 on a charity toss by Evans with 14:46 to go.
The lead stayed in or near double figures until four consecutive points by the visitors made it a 63-58 game at the 7:02 mark. However, Barmore found Jules for a thunderous dunk. After a rebound by Barmore, Evans was fouled and made both free throws to push the score to 67-59. Dean pulled up for a three-ball off a pass from Evans for a 12-point advantage.
Although USC Aiken led by as many as 14 moments later, the Vikings pulled within seven with 64 ticks on the clock. However, Barmore, Evans and Hill all made free throws to make it an 83-73 game with 39 seconds to go.
For the game, USC Aiken hit 28-of-57 from the floor (49.1 percent), including nine-of-26 from downtown (34.6 percent). The Pacers registered 21 points off ECSU mistakes and never trailed. Vanderslice's squad controlled the paint, registering 38 points compared to 22 by the Vikings.