USC Aiken tops Cougars

AIKEN, SC – Columbus State ran into a hot shooting USC Aiken team on Saturday afternoon as they lost to the hosts 76-61 in a Peach Belt Conference in The Convocation Center in Aiken, SC.

CSU falls to 7-6 on the year and now boasts a 2-2 mark in league play while the Pacers improve to 10-2 this season and remain perfect in PBC action at 4-0.

Neither side got off to a quick start as the game remained scoreless through the first two and a half minutes as the Cougars missed three shots and had a turnover while USCA committed three turnovers of their own before Jessie Seilern scored the first two points of the game. 

Winford Ivey came right down the court and answered for Columbus State as he drove to the basket and made a layup as he was fouled.  The guard made the free throw attempt to make it a 3-2 game at the 17:02 mark, which was also the only lead the Cougars would have the entire afternoon.

The Pacers then rattled off a 20-6 run over the next seven minutes to go ahead 22-9 with 9:59 remaining in the first half.  USCA went 7-for-11 from the field including four three-pointers, three of which came off the hot hand of Ronald Zimmerman.

After Jarmarquis Steverson made a layup and Steve Peterson knocked down a pair of free throws, USC Aiken went on another impressive run, this one a 12-2 one which gave them a 34-15 advantage, their largest of the game with 5:34 to go in the opening half.  They would enter the break ahead 40-25.

Attempting to pull of their second straight second half comeback, Columbus State scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half to pull to within nine, 42-33 with just over 16 minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the visitors, that would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the game as the Pacer answered right back with five straight of their own.

CSU shot 37.9% (22-for-58) for the contest which included a 5-for-17 (29.4%) performance from long range.  They were also 12-for-15 (80%) from the free throw line.  Jarmarquis Steverson and Winford Ivey each scored 15 points for the Cougars.  The duo combined to go 11-for-23 from the field while the rest of the team went 11-for-35.

Four players hit double figures for the Pacers led by Zimmeran's game high 17 points as he buried five three-pointers.  Sterling Council (16 points), Jeremiah Pojah (10 points) and Re'Mon Nelson (10 points) also hit double digits.  As a team, USCA was feeling it all afternoon going 26-for-53 (49.1%) from the field and were nearly perfect at the charity stripe nailing 18 of their 20 attempts.

Columbus State will return to the hardwood on Thursday when they host Armstrong Atlantic State University in another PBC tilt.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at the Lumpkin Center.