EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- South Carolina-Aiken battled a strong Chico State team, but the Pacers prevailed in the national quarterfinal battle by a score of 85-70.The Pacers improve to 33-3 on the season.
Leading the way for head coach Vince Alexander's team was Ronald Zimmerman's game-high 33 points. DeVontae Wright added 12 points and a game-best four assists while not committing a turnover. Alvin Brown netted 11 points, including nine in the first half, to go along with an NCAA quarterfinal record-tying eight blocks. Jesse Seilern added eight points and 11 rebounds while Paul Larsen totaled eight markers and 10 boards.
As a team, USC Aiken canned 27-of-56 from the floor (48.2 percent), including seven-of-12 from downtown (58.3 percent). The squad also buried 24 free throws and out-rebounded the Wildcats 49-39. The 10 blocks by the Pacers established a quarterfinal record for blocks in a game, while the 13 combined swats by the two teams also set a national quarterfinal mark.
Alexander's team continued the spurt at the start of the second half as Brown registered another dunk and Larsen hit an inside shot for a nine-point advantage at the 18:16 mark.
The Pacers' strong defense limited good scoring chances for Chico State in the second half. The squad held the Wildcats to 34.2 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes while holding the designated visitors to a mere 25.8 percent shooting from downtown for the game.
USC Aiken extended its lead to 16 on a pair of free throws by Zimmerman. However, one of the loudest cheers of the night came when Kinley Branch hit a lay-up with 37 seconds to play for the final two points of the contest.