The UNCP basketball team competed in a wire to wire game against PBC foe USC Aiken on Jan. 21 at the Convocation Center in Aiken, S.C.
Coming down to the last possession the (14-5) Braves fell in the final seconds to a layup from USC Aikens Jalin Barnes with 2.8 seconds remaining on the clock.
UNCP’s five game winning streak dating back to Jan. 6 was snapped in the process with the 83-81 loss to their conference foe.
PBC standings were affected in a big way thanks to the win from the Pacers, it pushed the Braves back a spot in the standings of the PBC slightly behind the home team.
UNCP started the contest strong in the opening half going on a quick 7-0 run to open the game up.
The continued momentum from the opening tip helped the Black and Gold push to a 14-7 lead with around 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
USC Aiken would answer though, with solid defense and their ability to hit the three point shot the Pacers crawled back to only trail 24-23.
The remainder of the half was tightly contested with each team trading blows.
Around the three-minute mark in the half the Braves were able to push the lead to 37-31 after a three from Andrew Evans and a contested jumper from James Murray-Boyles.
After another basket from Murray-Boyles in the last minute of the game the Black and Gold finished the half with a lead of 39-35 over the hosting Pacers.
UNCP never gave up the lead that they established from the opening tip off and controlled the momentum heading into the second half.
Similar to how things started in the first half, the Braves came out of the locker room on fire to begin the second half of play.
Baskets from key contributors such as Alex Bradley and Brandon Watts helped establish a 12-5 run over the Pacers.
UNCP dominated and controlled the pace of game for the opening ten minutes of the second half.
However, things started to swing in favor of USC Aiken when Christian Nobles went to the line to shoot free throws at the 9:30 mark in the half.
Missed shots for the Braves on multiple possession and crucial three pointers from the Pacers help bring USC Aiken right back into the game.
Austin Grimes made a huge impact in aiding the Pacers comeback and was responsible for the field goals, which helped push USC Aiken to take their first lead of the game with only five minutes remaining in the half.
All momentum from the Braves early lead seemed to be drained as the Pacers were cruising by putting together 6-0 run over the Braves after taking the lead.
UNCP would answer though thanks to Nigel Grant and Quamain Rose’s ability to knockdown their free throw shots.
With 30 seconds remaining in the game the senior point guard, Rose, made a three pointer to tie the game.
On the last possession of the game the Braves failed to keep USC Aiken’s Barnes out of the paint and allowed the senior guard to win the game for the Pacers