Saturday, January 10, 2008.
AMERICUS, Ga. – Chris Commons finished with a game-high 27 points and No. 11 USC Aiken picked up an 88-69 Peach Belt Conference victory over Georgia Southwestern on Saturday afternoon.
Commons (Toledo, Ohio/Findlay) has now scored 20 or more in a game seven times in USC Aiken’s 12 outings this season.
In total, three Pacers scored in double figures with Josh Dollard (Hemingway, S.C./Auburn) just missing out on a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Dollard also had two blocks and one steal.
Kingsley Oguchi (Houston, Texas/George Bush) ended the win for the Pacers with 12 points and three assists. The all-time steals leader at USC Aiken also had three steals.
Marcus Scott helmed the Georgia Southwestern attack, scoring a team-high 20 points.
The Pacers shot 50.8 percent from the field as a team. The Hurricanes were held to a 38.2 percent shooting effort.
Commons guided the Pacers in the opening 10 minutes of Saturday’s game, scoring 11 of USC Aiken’s first 23 points. The 11 points helped the Pacers to enter the second and final media time out of the first half with a four-point advantage at 23-19.
The Pacers utilized the media time out by coming out of the final mandatory break gunning. The Pacers scored the next seven points over the next two minutes to take an 11-point lead at 30-19 with 7:49 left in the game. Mark Brown (Charlotte, N.C./Hickory Grove Christian) captalized the seven-point swing by nailing a three-pointer from the right corner.
Brown’s trey forced Georgia Southwestern head coach Mike Leeder to take his third time out of the game just over 12 minutes into the game. A minute later, Leeder called his fourth time out of the first half with 6:25 left in the opening stanza. The four time outs left Leeder with only two time outs to use the rest of the game.
The Hurricanes responded to Leeder’s constant time outs in the first half by closing out the final six-plus minutes of the first half by cutting the USC Aiken lead to just three points at 40-37. Scott hit a long two-pointer at the first half buzzer from the right corner for Georgia Southwestern to cut the Pacer advantage to three.
Commons ended the first half with 15 points in total. Scott led the Georgia Southwestern attack in the first half, scoring 13.
The Hurricanes (5-7, 1-4 PBC) would open the second half on a 6-2 run to take the lead at 43-42 with just under 17 minutes left in the game. Over the next couple minutes, two thunderous dunks each by Georgia Southwestern’s Chris Rawls and USC Aiken’s Dollard kept the game the same with the score still one point in favor of the Hurricanes at 49-48 with 14:31 left.
The Pacers would take over from there, pushing their lead to 19 points at 82-61 with 3:23 left in the game. The final three minutes would stay basically the same with USC Aiken emerging with the 19-point victory.
The 88 points scored by the Pacers in the win improved USC Aiken to 8-0 in the 2008-09 season when they score 80 or more points.
Overall, the Pacers are now 9-3 this year. USC Aiken is 4-1 in the Peach Belt. USC Aiken is 23-2 against it league foes over the past two years after the win over Georgia Southwestern on Saturday.