USC Aiken Survives Clayton State; Advances to Semis
COLUMBUS, Ga. – Maurice Hubbard scored 11 points and
grabbed nine rebounds Friday evening to lead the USC Aiken
men’s basketball team to a 48-40 victory over Clayton State
in the quarterfinal round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament
hosted by Columbus State University at the Frank G. Lumpkin
USCA, the top seed in the East, improves to 21-6 overall and advances to Saturday’s 8 p.m. semifinal where it will play the Columbus State/Lander winner. Clayton State, the fourth seed in the West, drops to 16-11. The tournament championship game is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Hubbard connected on 4-of-5 field goals and 3-of-9 free throws, while Sterling Council added eight points. The Pacers connected on 23-of-36 free throws in the game for 63.9 percent.
Clayton State’s Anthony Salter scored a game-high 18 points as he made 6-of-14 field goals and 6-of-7 free throws. Andrew Bachanov added seven points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
The first half was a low-scoring affair that featured four ties and seven lead changes, but the Pacers eased out to a 22-15 lead on a Maurice Hubbard dunk with 56.7 seconds left and two free throws by Re’mon Nelson at 12.2 seconds.
The Lakers cut the lead to 22-17 with 4.8 seconds remaining on a Tim Budd basket.
Neither team shot well in the first half with USCA going 7-for-29 from the field for 24.1 percent and Clayton State connecting on 6-of-21 shots for 28.6 percent.
The Lakers opened the second half with a 5-0 run on a Teondre Williams dunk, a Bachanov field goal and a Salter free throw to tie the game at 22-22 with 17:22 left in the game.
After one more tie and seven lead changes, the Pacers took the lead for good at 32-31 with 9:57 left in the game on a pair of Jesse Seilern free throws.
The Lakers stayed with striking range until the final minutes when they were forced to foul to get possession. USCA connected on 5-of-8 free throws to end the game.
For the game, USCA was 12-of-46 from the field for 26.1 percent, including 1-of-16 threes.
Clayton State connected on 15-of-46 floor shots for 32.6 percent and missed on all nine of its three-point attempts. The Lakers were 10-of-20 from the free throw line for 50 percent.