Saturday, March 2, 2013
PEMBROKE, N.C. – The Peach Belt Conference champion University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team was upset by UNC Pembroke, 102-91, in its regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at the English E. Jones Center.
UNC Pembroke (21-8, 14-5 PBC) held a six-point lead over USC Aiken (19-7, 15-4 PBC) at 20-14 with 12:39 remaining in the first half. With under nine minutes left in the first stanza the Braves were clinging to an eight-point lead at 26-18.
The Pacers would outscore the Braves 22-8 the rest of the half to take a 40-34 lead into the halftime break.
The two teams would be tied at 69-all with 7:40 to play in the contest.
That would be as close as the Pacers would be able to get as UNC Pembroke would pull away for its 11-point victory.
USC Aiken closed out its regular-season finale shooting 50.8 percent (33-for-65) from the field as a team. UNC Pembroke shot 47.3 percent (35-for-74) as a team in its win.
The Pacers finished the game with nine total team blocks. Kinley Branch (Stone Mountain, Ga./Arkansas State) led the Pacers in the contest with three blocks.
Four of the five Pacer starters finished in double figures with Paul Larsen (Mooresville, N.C./Mercer) leading the way with 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block.
Santoine Butler (Augusta, Ga./Gardner-Webb) ended USC Aiken’s loss with 17 points, two rebounds and two blocks.
Re’mon Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Canal Winchester HS) and Jesse Seilern (Innsbruck, Austria/Kapfenberg HS) each posted 14 points for the Pacers. Nelson also had four assists, four steals and two rebounds. Seilern closed out the Pacer loss with four rebounds, three steals and one assist.
All five UNC Pembroke starters ended their efforts in double figures with George Blakeney leading the way with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
The Pacers will enter the Peach Belt Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed in the East Division. Seeding and the bracket for the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Tournament will be released later this evening by the league office.