Pacers roll in home opener against Allen

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team registered a 91-53 victory over visiting Allen Tuesday evening in a non-conference contest.

With the win, head coach Vince Alexander’s team stands at 3-1 on the young season.

The Pacers garnered a double-double from Paul Larsen with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Ronald Zimmerman shared game-high accolades by netting 19 points. Kinley Branch came off the bench to net 14 points in the well-balanced offense.

Shane Porchea hit for nine points while DeVontae Wright added eight. Wright distributed a game-best five assists while Porchea snagged six rebounds. Hendrix Emu accounted for seven points.

USC Aiken canned 11 three-point shots, including five by Zimmerman and four by Branch. The team also connected on 30 foul shots. The Pacers out-rebounded the visitors 43-25, including an 18-4 margin on the offensive glass. USC Aiken controlled the paint, 28-18 and recorded 24 second-chance points in the contest.

After jumping out to a 14-10 lead, Alexander’s team went on a 10-0 run in 1:45. During the run, Rick Alderman canned a pair of free throws and Larsen hit a spinning lay-up while being fouled. He converted the old-fashioned three-point play for a 19-10 lead. Alderman later hit a charity toss for the 20-10 advantage.

Allen pulled within six at the 9:03 mark, but Zimmerman spotted up and drilled a deep three-point shot off a pass from Wright for a 25-16 edge. A basket by the visitors pulled them within seven, but Branch answered with a long-distance shot for a 10-point margin. Allen would get no closer in the contest.

The Pacers stretched the lead to 40-24 on a three-ball by Branch with 1:38 to go and maintained the lead as Larsen weaved his way through traffic for a lay-up just before intermission.

USC Aiken kept pressure on the visitors in the early going of the second half, stretching the lead to 25 after a 10-0 run that covered just 3:48 off the clock.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press