USC Aikenís menís basketball team is likely glad to return home tonight.
When the Pacers (2-2) last played at the Convocation Center, they were undefeated and had just knocked off a ranked Winston Salem State squad. Now, as they host Mount Olive (1-4) tonight at 7 p.m., the Pacers are on a two-game road losing streak after falling in a rematch with Winston Salem State and a tilt with Benedict.
The Trojans also come into town on a losing streak, having dropped three straight home games. Only two Mount Olive players score in double figures, led by senior forward Deshaune Greene with 15.2 per game and sophomore swingman Jordan McCain with 11.4. Junior guard Dory Hines is close to double-digits with 9.2 points a contest and leads the team with 8.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists on average.
Five Pacers average in double digits in the scoring column, with Ronald Zimmerman leading the way with 17.3 per game. Kinley Branch, Jesse Seilern, ReíMon Nelson and DeVontae Wright are also averaging better than 10 points, but Wright has played only one game because of injuries.
Zimmerman is also the Pacersí leader from the 3-point line among those with at least 10 attempts. Heís connecting on 48 percent (18-of-37) of his shots. In all, four USCA players Ė Zimmerman, Branch, Seilern and Nelson Ė have attempted 10 or more longballs and average hitting .333 or better, while no Trojan is better than .306 for the year from beyond the arc.
That hasnít stopped Mount Olive from attempting shots from deep range. Despite a team percentage of .228, the Trojans attempt an average of 24.6 3-pointers a game. The Pacers, meanwhile, attempt 24 per game but are hitting close to 45 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Long-range shooting was a problem for USCA in its last game. In a 69-67 loss to Benedict, the Pacers hit only 5 of their 17 3-point attempts.
The charity stripe has also been unkind to the Pacers in their losses. Despite shooting 66 percent from the line for the year, USCA made only 54.5 percent of its free throws against Benedict and 43.8 percent against Winston Salem State.
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University and has been at the Aiken Standard since June 2010.
What: USC Aiken menís basketball
Who: USCA (2-2) vs. Mount Olive (1-4)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: USCA Convocation Center
USCA: Ronald Zimmerman, Jr. G. Zimmerman leads the Pacers in points with 17.3 a game and has made better than 48 percent of his 3-point attempts for the year (18-of-37).
Mount Olive: Dory Hines, Jr. G. Hines is third on the team in scoring with 9.2 points a game, but he leads the way in assists with 6.2 per contest and averages 8.6 rebounds, impressive because heís only 6-foot-2.