Often, a comfortable prediction can be made for a game based on the teams’ scoring statistics. All those numbers say for tonight’s game between the USC Aiken men’s basketball team and Georgia Southwestern at the Hurricanes’ Storm Dome is that someone’s averages won’t hold up.


The Pacers (6-3, 2-0 Peach Belt Conference) are averaging 86.4 points per game, third-best in the PBC, but are giving up 77.7 points per game, which is ninth-best in the conference. The Hurricanes (6-3, 2-0) are next to last in the PBC in scoring offense with 66.4 points per game but are only allowing 62.9, second-best in the league.


The Pacers have shown the ability to turn in a defensive gem on the road, though, after holding the PBC’s top offensive team, Francis Marion, to 79 points on Dec. 17. The Patriots are averaging better than 100 points per contest.


In tonight’s game, set for a 7:30 tip, the opponent will be much less potent at scoring the basketball. Only two Hurricanes are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Matt Shaw’s 13.2 per contest. Shaw is also fourth in the conference in field-goal percentage at 65.2 percent on the year. Junior guard Alan Arnett is averaging 11.2 points per game.


The Pacers have no shortage of scoring options, as five USCA players are averaging double-digit scoring. Ronald Zimmerman leads the way in that regard with 18.7 per game, fifth in the PBC, and is a 44 percent 3-point shooter on the year. Santoine Butler is next at 13.1 per game and is leading the league in blocks with 31 on the year. Paul Larsen, the team’s leading rebounder at 7.7 per outing, is next with 12.9 points a game, followed by Re’Mon Nelson among regulars with 12.4.


Junior Citadel transfer DeVontae Wright has played only two games because of injury but scored in double digits in both, including 10 in the team’s most recent game, an 88-84 loss to King.


The two teams met once last year, with USC Aiken winning 81-74 at home, and head coach Vince Alexander is 7-1 as the against the Hurricanes.


Both squads are playing their first games of the 2013 calendar year and will only face conference foes for the remainder of the season.


Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University and has been at the Aiken Standard since June 2010.


Today’s Game


What: USC Aiken men’s basketball


Who: USCA (6-3, 2-0 PBC) vs. Ga. Southwestern (6-3, 2-0 PBC)


When: Today, 7:30 p.m.


Where: Storm Dome, Americus, Ga.


STAR WATCH


USCA: Ronald Zimmerman, Jr. G. Zimmerman has been good for a few hot starts this season and is averaging close to 19 points per contest and shooting better than 44 percent from beyond the arc.


Ga. Southwestern: Matt Shaw, Sr. F. Shaw, listed at 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, leads the Hurricanes with 13.2 points a game and is fourth in the conference in shooting percentage at better than 65 percent.