No. 7 USC Aiken men beat Clayton St. 97-93

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Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019
AIKEN, S.C. – The No. 7 University of South Carolina Aiken men's basketball team overcame a 15-point deficit in the first half for a 97-93 victory over Clayton State Saturday.

(MGN Online)

The Pacers are now 15-1 on the year and 9-1 in the PBC. The Lakers fall to 5-9 overall and 2-6 against conference competition.

Ty'lik Evans led the way with a career-high 31 points. He buried 11-of-20 shots from the floor, including eight-of-13 from downtown. Evans also snagged eight rebounds, dished out seven assists and had three steals. Xzavier Barmore accounted for 25 points and six assists. Shaquan Jules totaled a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards while Faison Brock tallied 14 points and nine rebounds.

Trailing 36-21 with 7:06 to go in the first half, Barmore sliced into the deficit with a pair of charity tosses. Moments later, Barmore found Evans for a three-point shot on a fast break. Evans launched his attempt and was fouled. After the shot hit nothing but the bottom of the net, Evans calmly converted the rare four-point play to make it 39-29.

Down 41-34, Barmore rattled off a three-point shot with 3:26 to go in the half. The advantage was in favor of the Lakers at halftime, 43-39.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice's team sliced into the deficit in the early going of the second period and took a 48-47 lead on a lay-up from Brock. A three-ball by Evans pushed the lead to five, 53-48.

With 9:35 to play, Brock found Evans, who rattled home a three-point shot, giving the team a 75-64 advantage. However, the Lakers pulled within two at 78-76. Barmore answered with a shot from downtown on the ensuing possession. Jules snagged an offensive rebound and threw down a thunderous dunk for an 83-76 lead.

Leading 83-81, Barmore found Jules for a lay-up and Washington hit a jumper to push the lead to six at 87-81. Clayton State pulled within three at 96-93, but Brock hit one-of-two foul shots with two seconds remaining for the four-point victory.

For the game, USC Aiken hit 35-of-70 from the floor (50 percent), including 13-of-28 from downtown (46.4 percent). The squad dished out 19 assists on 35 field goals.

The Pacers return to action Wednesday when they play at UNC Pembroke at 7:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at