USC Aiken men's basketball falls in 1st round of Peach Belt tourney

Mar. 7—No. 8 GEORGIA COLLEGE 83, No. 1 USC AIKEN 71

The USC Aiken men's basketball team lost an 83-71 decision to Georgia College on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.

The Pacers are now 23-6 on the season. They await the results of the NCAA Selection Show Sunday at 11 p.m. to determine their seed in the national tournament.

Head coach Mark Vanderslice's team was led by Tyler Johnson, who recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds while adding two steals. Tehree Horn contributed 19 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Jalen McCoy added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Johnson put the Pacers on the board by hitting a wide open 3 to start the game. The team did not score again, after a 17-0 run by the Bobcats, until 13:51 remaining in the first where Johnson connected on a lay-up with contact and hit the ensuing free throw.

The Pacers trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, but Johnson brought it back to single digits off a floater with 6:04 before halftime. The Pacers found themselves down by just five at the half. USCA scored 14 of its 33 first-half points from the charity stripe. McCoy connected on all six of his attempts from the line. Johnson nearly tallied a first-half double-double, recording nine points and eight rebounds.

The Pacers started the second half strong, cutting the Bobcat lead to one when Horn hit jumper at the 14:30 mark. The home squad picked up its first lead since the start of the contest half a minute later when Horn went coast-to-coast to convert on a layup. The Bobcats regained the lead at the 13:19 mark and wouldn't trail again.

The Pacers finished the game shooting 24-70 (34.3%) from the floor and 20-29 (69%) from the charity stripe. They added 10 steals that led to 10 points.