AIKEN, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center has not been kind to Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball. GSW dropped to 0-11 all-time in the building after USC Aiken defeated the Hurricanes, 84-69, on Saturday afternoon.
The Hurricanes had a two-game winning streak snapped with the loss to fall to 12-9 overall and 8-9 in the Peach Belt Conference while USC Aiken won its second straight game to improve to 12-9, 9-8 in the PBC.
How It Happened: The opening five minutes was evenly played. After Devin Watson drained a 3-pointer with 15:41 remaining in the first half to put the Hurricanes ahead by a bucket, 14-12, Andre Statam knocked down a jumper the next trip down the floor to keep GSW out front, but not for long. USC Aiken accounted for the next two scores and would never trail again. The Hurricanes stayed within striking distance through the middle of the half as John Mason made a pair of free throws with 8:34 to go before the break to keep GSW within two points, 28-26, but the Pacers responded with seven unanswered points as part of a 12-4 run to open up a double-digit lead. GSW trailed 45-36 at halftime.
Neither side could score in the opening two minutes coming out of the break and the Hurricanes were without a point in the second half for four minutes, missing their first five shots and turning the ball over three times, allowing USC Aiken to stretch its lead to 50-36. GSW trailed by as many as 17 points, but pulled within seven (72-65) with four minutes to play. The Hurricanes were unable to score on three consecutive possessions inside the following three minutes which allowed USC Aiken to hold on for the win.
The Pacers entered Saturday's game as the PBC leader in scoring average (82.5 points per game) and opponents 3-point shooting percentage (30.6 percent). Both figures were strengthened slightly as GSW shooters were held to 29.6 percent (8 of 27) from long range. The Hurricanes were outrebounded, 47-36, and dished out seven fewer assists, 16-9.
USC Aiken's Robert Hill led all players in points scored (21) and rebounding (13) while making 9 of 11 shots.
Up Next: GSW travels to Lander University (9-14, 5-12 PBC) on Monday for a 7:30 p.m. game.