Saturday, December 11, 2010
Columbus State Loses 68-61 to #8 USC Aiken
The home team got off to a quick start jumping out to 7-3 lead just over four minutes into the game. USC Aiken capitalized on missed opportunities by Columbus State with 7-0 run to take 10-7 lead with just under thirteen minutes to play.
CSU responded with a run of its own, a 9-2 run, with eight of the nine points coming from Steve Peterson to take an 18-14 lead at the 7:35 mark. Peterson hit two three’s during the spurt and led all scorers with eight points in the first twenty minutes.
The Cougars continued to stretch their lead using strong defensive play in which they forced three USC Aiken turnovers leading to another run, this one a 10-4 run to take their largest lead of the game (28-18) with two minutes to play before halftime.
USC Aiken chipped away at the lead over the next two minutes and a Re’mon Nelson jumper with five seconds remaining cut the CSU lead to five sending the teams into the break with Columbus State up 29-24.
The start of the second half was the complete opposite of the opening 20 minutes of the game as USC Aiken came out very aggressive and active on both ends of the court. Four CSU turnovers spurred a 10-2 run in the first four minutes of action, giving the visitors a 34-31 lead with 16:20 to go.
Both sides would trade baskets over the next several possessions before Jarmarquis Steverson hit a three-pointer, giving the Cougars a 40-37 advantage at the 13:36 mark. USCA seemed to seize control of the game going on an 11-1 spurt to take a 48-41 lead, but the resilient Cougars chipped away at the lead, narrowing the deficit to 55-53 with 4:03 remaining in the game.
The Pacers scored on their next two possessions, again extending their lead to seven points, 60-53, with 3:06 left in the contest. Steve Peterson knocked down a trifecta 17 seconds later to begin a Cougar rally. After a pair of USCA free throws, Steverson scored the next four points for CSU and Darius Mcknight hit a free throw, cutting the lead to 62-61 with 1:25 to go. Donta Ridley took a jumper just outside the lane the spun around the rim but rolled off with 1:02 left in the game which would have given the Cougars their first lead of the game since the 12:26 mark in the second half.
Myles Holley would then go down court and hit a jumper with the shot clock expiring extending the lead to 64-61 before USC Aiken iced the game with four free throws down the stretch.
Steverson and Peterson led the way for CSU as they both dropped 15 points. Paul Darkwa added his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 boards. Lamar Williams also chipped in eight points in his first action of the year.
The Cougars shot 41.7 percent from the floor on the night, while also connecting of 5-of-12 from beyond the arc. Peterson was perfect on the night going 3-for-3 from deep. CSU connected on 71.4 percent from the free throw line in the second half but shot just 64.0 (16-for-25) percent for the game.
USCA had three players hit double-digits led by Holley’s 14 points. He was followed by Kenny Manigault’s 13 pts and Re’mon Nelson’s 11 points. Holley and Kevin Willis each grabbed a team high nine rebounds. Sterling Council dished out a game high six assists. As a team, the Pacers shot 50% (27-for-54) from the floor and out rebounded CSU 35-28.
Columbus State returns to the court on Wednesday, December 15 when it travels to Pensacola, FL to take on West Florida. The two sides met earlier in the season with the Argos pulling out the victory, 72-58. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. at the UWF Field House.