GREENWOOD, S.C.—USC Aiken held Newberry College to 38.9 percent shooting and 48 points to earn its second win in as many days. Curt Triplin scored 19 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds to lead USCA (2-2) to a 58-48 win over the Indians (1-4) on the second day of the South Atlantic/Peach Belt Clash in Greenwood, S.C. Triplin fell one rebound short of tying the school record of 18 boards in a game set by Chris Robinson against Coker College on Nov. 19, 1999.
After allowing an average of 82 points per game in their first two contests of the season, the Pacers have tightened up on the defensive end, allowing an average of 56.5 points in their last two games, both of which were wins over Presbyterian College and Newberry.
An 11-1 Pacer run midway through the second half broke a 35-35 tie and allowed USC Aiken to use free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. Mira Jonuska’s jumper with 11:50 to go in the game gave USCA a 37-35 advantage and the lead for good. The Pacer defense held Newberry to just one point for nearly five minutes as Triplin scored seven of his game-high 19 points during the USC Aiken run. The junior’s basket at the 7:49 mark gave the Pacers a 46-36 lead.
The Indians cut the deficit to four points on two occasions, once on a Rashaad Carter (North Charleston, S.C.) jumper with 4:04 remaining and again after Brandon Moses (Aiken, S.C.) connected on two free throw attempts with 1:48 left on the clock. Carter finished with 10 points and six rebounds for Newberry.
Following Moses’ two makes from the charity stripe, USC Aiken connected on six-of-eight free throw attempts inside the final 1:45 to claim the 58-48 win.
The Pacers opened the game by hitting on just one of their first seven shot attempts and allowed Newberry to jump out to a 13-2 lead with 13:55 to go in the first half. Tommy Burke (Prosperity, S.C.) scored five of his team-high 12 points for the Indians in the game’s opening six minutes.
Once the shots began to fall for USCA, the Pacers went on an 18-2 run to take a 20-15 lead with 5:29 left before intermission. Two Lee Burton free throws closed the gap to 13-4 and started a streak of 13 unanswered points by USC Aiken. Burton scored eight of the 13, including a jumper at the 7:46 mark that gave USCA its first lead of the game, 15-13. The senior finished the game with 17 points.
Moses tied the game at 20-all with 3:06 to go. The Pacers pushed ahead 24-20, but Brian Reese’s three-pointer, with 40 ticks left in the first period, set the halftime score at 24-23.
For the game, USC Aiken shot 42.2 percent from the floor (19-of-45), 16.7 percent (two-of-12) from three-point land and 72 percent (18-of-25) from the free throw line. Newberry hit 21-of-54 (38.9 percent) of its shots from the field, three-of-13 (23.1 percent) from deep and three-of-five from the line. The Pacers won the turnover battle, committing just 14 miscues compared to 17 by the Indians. Newberry held a 35-30 advantage on the boards.
Triplin became the first Pacer to record 15 or more rebounds in a game since Robinson grabbed 15 on Feb. 14, 2001 against Lander.
The Pacers will open the home portion of their 2003-04 schedule on Saturday when Cason-Newman pays a visit to “The Courthouse.” Newberry travels to Brevard College Monday night at 7 p.m.
(Release courtesy of Lander University and USC Aiken Sports Information Departments)