COLUMBUS, GA – The USC Aiken Pacers established a 10-point lead midway through the first half and kept Georgia Southwestern at bay as they advanced to the PBC Championship game 78-63 on Saturday night in Columbus.
In Saturday's semifinal, the Pacers (28-3) held a two-point lead in the first half before going on an 11-2 run capped by a Paul Larsen layup. Ronald Zimmerman hit his first five shots for the Pacers, scoring 12, while Larsen was 6-for-6 in the half with 14 points.
The lead grew to as many as 15 early in the second half before Georgia Southwestern made a comeback. Johathan Brooks hit a three-pointer followed by an Alan Arnett layup. Two Arnett free throws with 5:01 to play cut the Pacer lead to seven 67-60. USCA responded with four straight free throws from DeVontae Wright as they closed out the game with an 11-3 run.
Larsen finished with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, hitting 10 of 12 field goals and all five of his free throw attempts. Zimmerman finished with 15 while Wright added 13 and a game-best 10 assists. USCA shot 48% from the floor and hit 19 of their 23 free throws.
Arnett finished with 20 for the Hurricanes (20-10) while Brooks had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jamon Hawkins scored 12. Georgia Southwestern will await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field on Sunday night at 10:30 pm for a possible at-large berth.
Article contributions provided by the Peach Belt Conference