Saturday, December 1, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team was unable to capitalize on a late second-half rally in a narrow 69-67 non-conference loss to Benedict at the Benjamin E. Mays HRC Arena.
Benedict (3-1) commenced the contest by scoring 17 of the first 21 points in the opening seven minutes of the game.
The Pacers would then go on a quick 5-0 spurt to pull within eight in the contest at 17-9 with under 11 minutes remaining in the first half of action.
A 12-5 run by USC Aiken (2-2) over the next almost five minutes would then pull the Pacers to within one at 22-21.
The two teams would remain close the rest of the half with Benedict holding a 33-28 lead at the halftime break.
Benedict had pushed its lead to 58-48 with 6:32 remaining in the game.
USC Aiken would then proceed to go on a 13-0 run over the next almost two and a half minutes to take a 61-58 advantage with 4:09 to play in the game.
A Benedict 3-pointer shortly thereafter would then even the game at 61-all.
The Tigers would then score two more to go ahead by two at 63-61. Two Re’mon Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Canal Winchester HS) free throws would then even the game at 63-63 with 2:32 left in the game.
Neither team would then be able to hit another field goal until Benedict connected on a 3-pointer to go ahead 66-63 with 38 seconds left in the contest.
After a Pacer turnover, Benedict made one free throw to go ahead, 67-63. Nelson then connected on a 3-point play to pull the Pacers within one at 67-66 with 13 seconds left to play.
Benedict was fouled next and the Tigers made their two free throws to set the score at 69-66 with seconds to play.
The Pacers from there would unfortunately be unable to tie things up in the final seconds.
Paul Larsen (Mooresville, N.C./Mercer) led the Pacers in the narrow loss with 21 points and four rebounds. He was 8-for-14 from the field in the game. Larsen was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.
Nelson was the only other Pacer in double figures with 12 points. He also had four assists and three steals. Nelson was 3-for-3 from the free throw line and 4-for-8 from the field.
Tydran Beaty was the tops among four Tigers in double figures with 15 points.
USC Aiken ended the Benedict loss shooting 40.3 percent (25-for-62) as a team. Benedict hit 41.7 percent (20-for-48) of its shots as a team.
The Pacers held a 41-31 rebound advantage in the game.
USC Aiken will next welcome Mount Olive to the Convocation Center on Thursday, Dec. 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.