News 12 @ 11, Sat. Feb. 2nd 2008
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Breaking a halftime tie with a 10-0 start to the second half, #9 USC Aiken (17-2, 11-1 PBC) earned a key 76-67 victory at Armstrong Atlantic State (11-7, 5-6 PBC) Saturday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference men’s basketball action. Jeremy Fears scored 20 points and Chris Commons added 18 for the Pacers, who swept the season series with the Pirates and improved to 10-0 on Saturdays this season.
Coming out of the locker room in a 41-41 deadlock, USC Aiken rattled off 10 quick points to get their first double-digit lead of the night with 16:17 remaining. Job Casimir knocked down a jumper after an offensive rebound before Commons and Kingsley Oguchi hit back-to-back threes. Cordaryl Ballard then capped the run with a layup.
The Pacers would never relinquish the lead, but the Pirates did make a run in front of the home crowd. A three-pointer by Jamaal Galloway cut the hosts’ deficit to five at the 8:19 mark, but Commons followed a missed three by Fears with a rebound dunk on the following possession.
Minutes later, Bobby Ancrum scored inside for AASU to cut the lead to 65-63 with 4:30 to play. However, USCA responded with an 11-3 run to put the game away. The Pacers knocked down 9-for-10 at the charity stripe during the run.
A cold start to the second half by the Lady Pacers fueled a 15-2 Lady Pirate run as Armstrong Atlantic State (11-7, 5-6 PBC) downed USC Aiken (12-6, 6-6 PBC) 77-65 in women’s Peach Belt Conference basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena. AASU avenged a December 1 loss in Aiken to the Lady Pacers, earning the season split.
Even though the Lady Pirates were just 1-5 over their last six games, they improve to 7-1 at home this year, halting USCA’s two-game winning streak and keeping the Lady Pacers winless in Savannah since January 9, 2002.
Meredith Legg had the hot hand in the opening stanza drilling back-to-back three-pointers to give USC Aiken the early 8-7 edge with 14:41 left on the clock. After five minutes of trading the lead, Legg canned two more from long range, part of eight-straight points by the junior guard to give USCA its largest advantage of the game 24-19 with 7:02 left in the half. She scored 14 of her team-high 16 in the first half on 4-of-8 from downtown.
Two free throws by Lacey Willis temporarily put the Lady Pirates back in front with 3:12 remaining, but AASU managed just one field goal over the final 6:30 as USC Aiken led at the break 32-29. Willis recorded the lion’s share of the team’s 27 bench points, finishing 6-of-11 from the field for 16 points and seven rebounds.