USC Aiken Pacers drop season opening contest to Paine

AIKEN, S.C. (USC Aiken Athletics) – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team dropped a hard-fought 78-70 contest to Paine Wednesday evening in the season opener.

The Pacers are now 0-1 while Paine is 1-2 on the season.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice‘s team was paced by Doniel Dean‘s 15 points. Henry Bolton III and Faison Brock each accounted for 14 points in the loss. Brock grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.

For the game, USC Aiken connected on 20-of-66 shots from the floor (30.3 percent) while the visitors canned 28-of-57 from the field (49.1 percent). The Pacers out-rebounded the visitors 43-40, including a 19-10 effort on the offensive glass.

USC Aiken forced 17 turnovers and converted the miscues into 25 points. The Pacers also outscored the Lions 13-11 in second-chance points.

Vanderslice’s team trailed 11-2 in the opening minutes, but quickly erased the deficit. However, Robert Hill‘s jumper in the paint knotted the score at 15-15. Bolton III took a pass from Austin Grimes and canned a three-ball for an 18-15 advantage.

Tevin Lytes converted an old-fashioned three-point play for a 36-28 lead at the 6:46 mark. It was the largest lead of the contest for USC Aiken.

The Lions managed to hold a 51-44 lead at the break.

Paine took a 59-47 lead with 15:46 to play in the second period. Vanderslice’s team clawed back into the game and pulled within two on a jumper by Lytes at 60-58.

Brock’s charity tosses with 4:41 to play knotted the score at 67-67. Dean’s lay-up gave the home squad a 69-67 advantage with 4:05 to play, but the visitors outscored USC Aiken 11-1 over the rest of the game.

The Pacers return to action Tuesday, Nov. 21, when they travel to Anderson for a 7 p.m., contest.

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