Top-seeded USC Aiken defeats Wingate 69-57 in second-round action
AIKEN, S.C. -- Top-seeded USC Aiken defeated No. 3-seed Wingate 69-57 in a second-round game at the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Sunday.
The Pacers advanced to the Southeast Regional Championship on Tuesday. USC Aiken (24-7) will face-off against Barton in the Regional Final. The winner of the game will advance to the national quarterfinals at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.
The Pacers advance to the round of 16 for the second time in the last five years, the previous time being in 2009.
With this year's semifinal win, USC Aiken was able to avenge a 73-70 loss to Wingate in last year's Southeast Regional at Montevallo.
The Pacers were able to overcome a halftime deficit to earn the victory by outscoring the Bulldogs 42-28 in the second half. They were able to shoot the ball significantly better in the second half, connecting on 56 percent (14-for-25) of attempts from the floor. This included a 4-for-9 performance from deep in the final period.
The game was tied nine times and saw five lead changes in all.
USC Aiken went on an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach after the final tie of the game at 42 with 10:49 remaining. After the run, which was capped by a three-point play by Jesse Seilern, the Pacers held a 53-42 lead with eight minutes left in the game.
The Pacers stretched the lead to as many as 15 before earning the 12-point victory.
Four Pacers finished in double figures in the game, led by Ronald Zimmerman's 15 points. Zimmerman was 5-for-8 from the field and 4-for-6 from deep.
Paul Larsen earned his 13th double-double of the game, by securing 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Santoine Butler chipped in 11 points and three blocked shots in the Pacer victory.
PBC Player of the Year Re'mon Nelson was the final Pacer in double figures. Nelson scored 10 points, corralled five boards, dished out three assists and got one steal.
Seilern added nine points and three rebounds, and DeVontae Wright had six points and three assists for USC Aiken.
Two Bulldogs finished the game with double-figure scoring totals, led by Ryan Daye with 14 points and five rebounds.
Odell Turner finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and one blocked shot in the game.
The first half was tightly contested with four ties and two lead changes. Neither team had a lead larger than seven points, by Wingate.
The Bulldogs went into the halftime break with a two-point lead 29-27 due to tough defense and the Pacers missing some open looks.
USC Aiken shot only 29.6 percent (8-for-27) from the field in the first half. The Pacers defense was tough as well, holding Wingate to 36.4 percent (12-for-33) shooting for the floor in the opening period.
The Pacers shot 90 percent (9-for-10) from the foul line in the first half to keep the game close. The Bulldogs were 3-for-4 from the line in the first half.
Daye of Wingate was the only player to score in double figures in the first half for either team. Daye tallied 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting in the first half.
Butler and Zimmerman led the Pacers in the first half, as they scored eight points apiece. Zimmerman was 2-for-3 from long range, and Butler was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line in the first half.
USC Aiken finished the game shooting 42.3 percent (22-for-52) from the floor. The Pacers shot 33.3 percent (6-for-18) from long range, and 76 percent (19-for-25) from the foul line.
Wingate (22-9) ended the game making 38.3 percent (23-for-60) of its shots from the field. The Bulldogs were 23.1 percent (3-for-13) behind the arc and 80 percent (8-for-10) form the charity stripe.