January 20, 2014

15th-Ranked USC Aiken Downs Nighthawks 98-79 On The Road

AIKEN, South Carolina – (UNGAthletics.com) – The 15th-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken men's basketball team used a late run in the first half to pull away and secure a 98-79 Peach Belt Conference victory over the UNG men's basketball team on Monday in USCA's Convocation Center.  Ishmael Hollis led the North Georgia (6-8, 3-5 PBC) with 22 points. 

The Nighthawks trailed by just two (36-34) following a pair of free throws from Hollis with just over four minutes left in the first half but the host Pacers used a 15-4 run to close the period to take a 51-38 lead into the break.

The Nighthawks would only get within 10 points (62-52) following another jumper from Hollis at the 13:40 mark but USCA took command of the game with a quick 9-2 run.

Shaquan Cantrell came off the bench to add 14 points while Travis Core rounded out the Nighthawks' double figure scorers with 12 points. 

Michael Varrichione narrowly missed his second double-double of the season with 9 points and 10 rebounds, including five of the offensive variety.

DeVontae Wright led USC Aiken (15-2, 7-0 PBC) with 23 points including a perfect 12-12 from the charity stripe.  Ronald Zimmerman added 21 while Paul Larsen and Shane Porchea added 10 points each.

North Georgia held a 39-35 rebounding edge and made good on 32-44 shots from the free throw line compared to just 24-30 for USCA.  The decisive difference was from the floor where the Pacers connected on 33-57 (58%) compared to UNG's 22-63 (35%).  The Pacers hit 8-16 (50%) from three-point while North Georgia was limited to 3-17 (18%) from behind the arch.

North Georgia will continue with the third game of its four-game road swing when the Nighthawks travel to Americus, Ga. on Thursday evening to take on Georgia Southwestern State with tip-off set for 7:30.  The game can be heard on the UNG Nighthawk Basketball Radio Network with the Milton Martin Honda Pregame Show scheduled to air at 5:10 from GSW's Storm Dome.