Brown Free Throw in Final Second Leads Pacers to “Senior Night” Victory
AIKEN, S.C. – Scoreless until the final seconds of the game, Alvin Brown hit a free throw with a second on the game clock to lead the University of South Carolina Aiken men's basketball team to a 54-53 Peach Belt Conference victory over Lander on "Senior Night" on Wednesday evening at the Convocation Center.
USC Aiken's one-point win over Lander coupled with Armstrong Atlantic State's loss to UNC Pembroke assured the Pacers of a second place finish in the PBC East Division. USC Aiken will now host a PBC Tournament quarterfinal at the Convocation Center on Tuesday, March 1. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., but USC Aiken's opponent is still uncertain as three teams are presently tied for third in the PBC East entering their final conference games of the year on Saturday, Feb. 26.
USC Aiken's conference slate is complete with the Pacers ending league action in the 2010-11 season with a 10-8 mark.
The Pacers as the No. 2 seed in the PBC East will tangle with the PBC East No. 3 in the quarterfinals. The winner will advance to the 2011 PBC Tournament semifinals at the Convocation Center on Saturday, March 5.
USC Aiken (16-9) led by as many as eight in the second stanza, but with 2:24 remaining Lander (10-15, 3-14 PBC) held the lead at 53-52.
Kevin Willis (Atlanta, Ga./Kaskaskia) tied the game for the Pacers at 53-53 with a free throw with 40 seconds remaining. Lander would miss its opportunity to take the lead on its next offensive possession with Brown (Fort Washington, Md./James Madison) corralling the defensive rebound.
Brown was fouled in the act of grabbing the rebound. He made his first free throw before missing the second.
The Pacers ahead by one and with only a second on the clock Lander was not able to even get a shot off to leave the Pacers clinging to the one-point win.
Senior Byron Faison (Sumter, S.C./Crestwood) became a member of the illustrious 1,000-point scoring club in USC Aiken's win on Wednesday as his team-high 17 points left him with 1,011 points in his career. Faison joined the USC Aiken men's basketball program with 267 points at Winthrop. He has scored 744 points in just two years a Pacer.
The 744 points are good for 14th all-time in the Pacer scoring annals.
Sterling Council (Camden, S.C./Camden) was the final Pacer in double figures, ending his night with 11 points.
Lander's David Pruett was the top scorer on Wednesday. Pruett ended his evening with 25 points, including four 3-pointers.
USC Aiken shot 40 percent (18 for 45) as a team in Wednesday's victory. The Pacer defense in turn held the Bearcats to just 38 percent (19 for 50) from the floor.
The Pacers will close their 2010-11 regular season this weekend on the road in Bristol, Tenn. against King College on Saturday, Feb. 26. Tip-off in the contest is slated for 3 p.m.