Pacers men get first PBC loss of season at Columbus State

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team dropped its first Peach Belt Conference game of the year in a 95-90 overtime road loss to Columbus State on Saturday afternoon at the Lumpkin Center.

The contest started with the two teams tied at 8-8 with 15:48 remaining in the first half.

The Pacers then promptly went on a 23-10 run over the next almost seven and a half minutes to own a 31-18 lead with 8:24 to play in the opening half.

The Pacers would enter the halftime break owning a 42-35 advantage.

USC Aiken (7-4, 3-1 PBC) closed the first half shooting 57.7 percent (15-for-26) as a team from the field. Columbus State (6-5, 1-3 PBC) shot 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field as a team in the first stanza.

Almost half of USC Aiken’s field goals as a team in the first half came from beyond the arc where they were 7-for-13 (53.8 percent).

Ronald Zimmerman led the Pacers in the first half with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Zimmerman knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half of action.

USC Aiken opened the second half on a 9-5 run that extended its lead to 11 points at 51-40 with 15:11 left to play in regulation.

The Pacers would lead by 14 points with just over nine minutes to play in the second half, but the double-digit lead would not last with the Cougars owning a one-point 73-72 with 3:05 left to play in the second stanza.

The lead for Columbus State would last for just 15 seconds with Zimmerman knocking down a 3-pointer on USC Aiken’s ensuing offensive possession to give the Pacers back the lead at 75-73.

After a couple of Columbus State free throws, the game would be tied at 75-75. On USC Aiken’s next possession, Re’mon Nelson gave USC Aiken back the lead at 77-75 when he scored with 1:01 left to play in regulation.

Columbus State’s Winford Ivey would then tie the game at 77-77 with two free throws with 7.8 seconds left in the second half.

USC Aiken would have a chance to win the game in regulation, but Derrick Scott’s long-range effort at the buzzer would just rim out to send the game into overtime.

Columbus State would outscore the Pacers 18-13 in overtime to claim the narrow five-point win.

Four Pacers finished in double figures in the game with Zimmerman leading the way with a game-high 27 points. Zimmerman (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley HS) knocked down six 3-pointers in total in the contest.

Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Canal Winchester HS) just missed on a double-double in the game with 15 points and seven assists. He also had four rebounds and three steals.

Santoine Butler (Augusta, Ga./Gardner-Webb) was 4-of-6 from the floor en route to 12 points for the Pacers. He also had a team-best seven rebounds to go along with four assists, three blocks and one steal.

Scott (Palm Coast, Fla./Winthrop) was the final Pacer in double figures with 11 points. He had three 3-pointers in the game.

Rory Miller led the Cougars in their win with a double-double on 25 points and 11 rebounds.

USC Aiken as a team closed out its loss to Columbus State shooting 52.8 percent (28-for-53) as a team. Columbus State shot 57.1 percent (32-for-56) from the field in its win as a team.

The Pacers closed out the game shooting 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from beyond the arc as a team. The Pacers were 22-for-29 (75.9) from the free throw line in the game.

USC Aiken will now have a week off before next welcoming Peach Belt Conference foe Montevallo to the Convocation Center on Saturday, Jan. 12. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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