20th ranked Pacers best Belmont Abbey in NCAA Tournament opener

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. – The nationally 20th-ranked and regionally top-seeded University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team defeated the eighth-seed, Belmont Abbey (22-10), 94-76, in the third Quarterfinal at the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Saturday evening.

USC Aiken’s (23-7) victory allows them to move on to play in the second Semifinal matchup of the Southeast Regional on Sunday evening. USC Aiken will face fourth-seeded Wingate in the regional semifinals.

The Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, Tournament Most Valuable Player and 2013 Daktronics First-Team All-Region selection Re’mon Nelson finished the game with 24 points and six assists to lead three Pacers in double figures.

The six assists give Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Canal Winchester HS) 187 for the season, which is good for the best single-season total in program history. Thomas Ryan previously held the record at 181 from the 1997-98 season. Nelson also owns the PBC all-time assist record at 503.

Nelson’s 24 points allowed him to become the third-leading scorer in NCAA Division II program history at 1,212 career points. He passed Derek Moore to gain another honor on his historic season, and now trails only Chris Commons and Kendrick Smith.

Jesse Seilern finished the game with a career-high tying 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal to stuff the stat sheet. Seilern (Innsbruck, Austria/Kapfenberg HS) was 8-for-11 from the field and 5-for-8 from three-point land.

Paul Larsen tallied another double-double, giving him 12 on the year. Larsen (Mooresville, N.C./Mercer) had 14 points and 10 boards, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line.

The Pacers entered halftime with a 53-40 lead after pulling away from the Crusaders thanks to a 20-7 run to close out the half. The score was tied at 33-33 with 5:28 remaining in the opening stanza. The majority of the first half was competitively contested, as there were seven ties and 10 lead changes early.

Seilern led all players in the first half by scoring 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 4-for-6 from behind the arc. Seilern was one of two Pacers with double-figure scoring totals in the first half. Nelson put in 15 first half points as the only other Pacer in double figures in the first stanza.

Division II leading-scorer and 2013 Daktronics Southeast Region Player of the Year Tyshawn Good led two Crusaders in double figures in the first half. Good put in 14 points, while Jay Council added 11.

The Pacers would outscore the Crusaders 41-36 in the second half to secure the victory. The closest Belmont Abbey would come in the second half was eight points at 13:54 remaining.

Good would put in a game-high 26 points on 8-for-19 shooting from the floor to lead three Crusaders with double-figure scoring totals. Good was 9-for-12 from the charity stripe in the game.

Council finished the game with 17 points, and Chris Davis would secure a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pacer bench was able to outscore the Crusaders 24-6, and they held a 37-31 rebounding advantage in the game.

USC Aiken finished the game shooting 55.6 percent (35-for-63) from the field, including 39.3 percent (11-for-28) on three-point attempts. They finished at 72.2 percent (13-for-18) from the foul line.

Belmont Abbey shot 44.4 percent (24-for-54) from the floor. They connected on 38.5 percent (5-for-13) from three-point land and 67.6 (23-for-34) on free throws.

Box Score: http://www.pacersports.com/sports/mbkb/2012-13/boxscores/20130316_qwu3.xml

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