Armstrong Sports Information:
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The No. 10-ranked USC Aiken men's basketball team scored on 12 of its first 13 possessions of the second half to down host Armstrong Atlantic State University, 97-82, on Saturday evening at Alumni Arena.
The win earned at least a share of the Peach Belt Conference regular season title for the Pacers (24-3, 16-1 PBC), while eliminating Armstrong (8-17, 5-13 PBC) from PBC Tournament contention.
A close first half saw the Pirates lead by as many as 10, but a Ronald Zimmerman three-pointer with six seconds left in the first half drew the Pacers even, 37-all, at the break.
In the second half, USC Aiken could not miss in shooting 75 percent from the floor (21-of-28), including hitting 6-of-7 three-pointers over the final 20 minutes for the double-digit victory. The Pacers opened the half on a 18-8 run over the first four minutes and never looked back in claiming the victory.
Armstrong finished the game hitting 40.9 percent of its shots (27-of-66) but hit just 6-of-20 three-pointers (30 percent) and 62.9 percent from the free-throw line (22-of-35). USC Aiken finished the game hitting 56.1 percent of its shots from the floor (32-of-57) and 60 percent from three-point range (9-of-15).
Hichem Benayad-Cherif led the Pirates on the evening with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor and 4-of-9 three-pointers, while Eric Eversley notched his PBC-leading 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kenny Bellinger II added 17 points and Darius Morales chipped in 13 points as well for Armstrong.
Ronald Zimmerman led five Pacers in double figures with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, including 7-of-12 three-pointers. Paul Larsen had 22 points and Devontae Wright added 15 points and six assists, while Jesse Seilern had 15 points and Rick Alderman contributed a double-double off the bench with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Armstrong wraps up the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday, March 1, hosting Georgia College in a 3:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference contest at Alumni Arena.
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