YOUNG HARRIS 90, USC AIKEN 80
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — In a battle of division leaders, the USC 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.
With the loss, USCA (9-5, 5-2) is now tied with Armstrong Atlantic State for first place in the PBC East Division. Young Harris (11-3, 6-1) owns sole possession of the top spot in the PBC West Division.
The teams traded scoring spurts in the first half, which ended with Young Harris leading 37-33. Ronald Zimmerman and Santoine Butler combined to score 22 of USCA’s first-half points. Zimmerman hit four 3-pointers, while Butler went 4-of-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. Butler finished the game with a team-high 21 points, while Zimmerman totaled 18.
Young Harris’ Frank Adams had the biggest night of any player. He tied a school record with 38 points in the win and was instrumental in allowing the Mountain Lions to pull away in the second half.
They led by as many as nine points in the first eight minutes after halftime, but the Pacers rallied and cut the lead to 56-54 after a Butler three-point play. USCA didn’t get any closer.
Including Butler and Zimmerman, four Pacers finished in double figures. Senior point guard Re’mon Nelson got closer to 1,000 points in his career, scoring 17 points. He now has 987 points, and added a game-high tying six assists in the contest.
The final Pacer in double figures was Paul Larsen, who had 11 points and a game-best 11 rebounds. He now has five double-doubles on the season.
USCA shot 49.2 percent (29-for-59) from the field, just behind Young Harris, which shot 52.5 percent (31-for-59).
The Pacers will try to get a win in their next game, on Monday at North Georgia with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.