USC Aiken men fall to Young Harris, 90-80

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – In a battle of division leaders, the University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team was unable to overcome Peach Belt Conference newcomer Young Harris in a 90-80 loss to the Mountain Lions at the YHC Basketball Arena on Saturday evening.

USC Aiken (9-5, 5-2 PBC) with the loss is now tied with Armstrong Atlantic State (9-5, 5-2) for first place in the Peach Belt Conference East Division. Young Harris (11-3, 6-1 PBC) with the win now owns sole possession of the top spot in the Peach Belt Conference West Division.

Young Harris commenced the first-ever meeting between the two programs by taking a 13-7 lead over the first six minutes of the game.

From there, USC Aiken would proceed to go on a 12-4 run to take a 19-17 lead with 9:32 remaining in the first half of play. Young Harris would then go on a 9-0 run to own a 26-19 lead with 6:31 to go until the halftime break.

The Pacers would not let the Mountain Lion lead last with USC Aiken then going on a 9-0 spurt of its own to take a 28-26 lead with 2:11 left in the first half.

The two teams would battle back and forth the rest of the first half with Young Harris owning a slight 37-33 lead at intermission.

Ronald Zimmerman (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley HS) and Santoine Butler (Augusta, Ga./Gardner-Webb) combined to score 22 of USC Aiken’s 33 points in the first half. Zimmerman hit four 3-pointers in claiming his 12 points in the half, while Butler closed the first half 4-of-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line in acquiring his 10 points in the stanza.

Young Harris opened the second half by pushing its lead to as many as nine points over the course of the first eight minutes of the half. USC Aiken would pull to within two at 56-54 after a Butler three-point play with 9:44 left in the game.

USC Aiken would not be able to get any closer with Young Harris pulling away down the stretch for the 10-point win.

Four Pacers finished in double figures in the contest with Butler leading the way with a team-best 21 points. Butler was 9-for-12 from the field in the game. He also had four rebounds.

Zimmerman concluded the Pacer loss with 18 points. He hit five 3-pointers in the contest.

Re’mon Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Canal Winchester HS) continued to get closer to 1,000 points in his Pacer career in the game, ending his efforts with 17 points. Nelson now has 987 points in his USC Aiken career. He also had a game-high tying six assists in the contest.

The final Pacer in double figures was Paul Larsen (Mooresville, N.C./Mercer), who ended his evening with 11 points and a game-best 11 rebounds. He now has five double-doubles on the 2012-13 season.

Young Harris closed out its win with three players in double figures. Frank Adams led all in the game with a Young Harris school record-tying 38 points.

USC Aiken finished the loss to Young Harris shooting 49.2 percent (29-for-59) as a team. The Mountain Lions shot 52.5 percent (31-for-59) as a team in the win over the Pacers.

The Pacers nailed 10 3-pointers as a team in the game. USC Aiken shot 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from beyond the arc in the game. Young Harris only shot 27.8 percent (5-of-18) as a team on its 3-point attempts.

Both teams shot well from the free throw line with USC Aiken shooting 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the charity stripe. Young Harris shot 85.2 percent (23-for-27) from the free throw line as a team.

USC Aiken will next stay in the area to face off against Peach Belt Conference rival North Georgia at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 in Dahlonega, Ga. The contest will be USC Aiken’s final road game against Peach Belt Conference West Division opposition in the 2012-13 regular-season.

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