5 score in double figures for USC Aiken men's basketball against Clayton State


Five members of the USC Aiken men's basketball team scored in double figures, spurring the Pacers to a 60-point second half in a 90-75 win over Clayton State on Saturday for Homecoming.

"I thought Clayton State came out and did a really nice job of setting the tempo against us," said USCA head coach Mark Vanderslice. "They were running a ton of plays, kind of getting the ball where they wanted, when they wanted. High-lows, ball screens, flares. We were a little stagnant to start the first half, but I'll tell you it was a tale of two halves for sure, from an energy and focus standpoint.

"I thought that, once we defensively started to pick up our energy, which led to our mojo, our offense started to flow. Our heart was there. We came off a pretty big, electric win for Beaufort, but that's still no excuse to start off the first half of the second game poorly. But, you know what? These guys finished. ... Those guys did a great job tonight. I'm proud of them."

The Pacers are now 21-5 on the season and 12-4 in Peach Belt Conference play.

USCA was led by Rhyjon Blackwell, who scored 24 points and added two steals. Jameel Rideout contributed 18 points. Tyler Johnson notched 15 points and seven rebounds. Simeon German and Demitrios Dixon added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The Pacers trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, but they clawed back to cut it to a 35-30 deficit at the half.

Clayton State (7-19, 3-13) led by seven with 13:30 to go before the Pacers reeled off a 10-0 run to take the lead on a Tehree Horn 3-pointer.

The lead reached double digits on a Dixon 3 with 8:01, and the Lakers wouldn't get within single digits for the rest of the game.

A German bucket made it an 18-point game with 5:07 to go, and a couple of Blackwell free throws put the Pacers up 24 with 1:44 remaining.

Rideout continued scoring at ease, adding nine more points after the Pacers took the lead. The home team's lead reached double digits at 8:01 when Dixon drained a three. The Lakers would not come within single digits for the remainder of the game.

USCA finished the game shooting 29-for-58 (50%) from the floor and 11-for-21 (52.4%) from beyond the arc. The team added 21 points from the charity stripe on 26 attempts, converting on 80.8% of their free throws.

The team will hit the road Wednesday evening to play North Georgia at 7:30 p.m.