Pacers get conference split with Francis Marion

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Aiken, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men's basketball team moved to 2-0 in Peach Belt Conference play by picking up an 85-67 victory over Francis Marion.

The Pacers' offensive attack was led by reigning PBC Player of the Week Ronald Zimmerman and DeVontae Wright who each tallied 22 points in the game. Zimmerman made four three-pointers and went 10-of-12 from the foul line and Wright added five assists and two steals on seven-of-12 shooting from the floor, including three three-pointers.

Paul Larsen finished the game with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards. Shane Porchea also chipped in with 10 points, five assists and two steals.

In total, four Pacers finished the game with double-digit scoring totals. Santoine Butler added nine points and Rick Alderman chipped in with seven.

USC Aiken moved to 9-2 on the season overall while Francis Marion dropped to 3-3 overall, 0-2 in conference play.

The Pacers opened the game with a pair of three-pointers by Zimmerman, who would score the first nine Pacer points going three-for-three from behind the arc to start the game. USC Aiken led, 9-7, in the first four minutes of the game.

The game was a back-and-forth affair for the next six minutes until the Pacers began to take control as another Zimmerman three-pointer started a 10-3 run to put USC Aiken up, 32-22, at the 7:20 mark in the first half.

Francis Marion got the lead down to four points with 3:40 left before the half on a pair of free throws, but USC Aiken stretched it back to 10 points with just under two minutes remaining at 41-31 on a steal and layup by Wright.

The Pacers took a 42-36 lead into the half.

Two Pacers finished the first half in double figures, led by Zimmerman with 14 points on four-of-five shooting from behind the arc and two-for-two from the charity stripe. Wright scored 11 points and dished out three assists in the first half.The first half featured eight lead changes and three ties in the tight first half.

AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken put forth a tremendous effort, but a last-second shot by Francis Marion allowed the visitors to earn a 71-69 victory in the Convocation Center Monday evening in a conference contest.

The Pacers are now 2-8 overall and 0-2 against Peach Belt Conference competition.

The Pacers were led by Porsha Martin's team-high 17 points. She also grabbed a team-high seven boards in the contest. Courtney Mealing accounted for 12 points and five boards while
Kate Duff came off the bench to hit for 12 points, six rebounds and chip in two steals.

USC Aiken jumped out to a 20-10 advantage at the 8:56 mark after trailing 10-9 with 12:07 to go. Martin nailed a mid-range jumper for an 11-10 lead. Amaura Brandt drained a deep three-point shot from the wing with 11:15 to go for a four-point edge.

Duff's two foul shots pushed the margin to six before Jasmine Coach snagged a rebound and registered a nifty, twisting put-back for an 18-10 lead. Duff's jumper pushed the margin to 20-10.

However, the Patriots sliced the deficit to three with 4:52 to go. Martin increased the lead to five on two foul shots, but the visitors took a 30-29 lead with 2:06 to go.

Mealing gave the home team a 31-30 lead on two foul shots, but the Patriots pushed the advantage to three at 34-31 before Mealing completed the first-half scoring with two free throws.

FMU raced out to a 13-point advantage in the second half with 11:49 to go, but head coach Mike Brandt's team fought back. Amaura Brandt drained a three-point shot and Mealing connected on a runner in the lane, pulling the team within eight.

An 8-0 spurt by the Pacers that spanned less than two minutes allowed the home team to tie the contest at 60 with just 4:23 on the clock.

USC Aiken took a 67-64 lead on a lay-up by Mackenzie Reese with 1:03 to go, but a three by the Patriots and a missed shot by Brandt's team gave the ball back to the visitors with under 30 seconds to play. A baseline runner by FMU allowed the visitors to take the two-point win.