AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta State Jaguars suffered their third-straight loss on the season, losing 76-62 to Peach Belt Conference rival USC Aiken on Saturday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse in front of the season's record-high crowd. The victory was the Pacer's first regular-season win over ASU at home since the 2001-02 season.
The loss dropped the Jags to 10-8 for the season and 5-6 in the Peach Belt Conference, while USCA improved to 14-5 overall and 10-2 in the conference.
"We just could not match them physically after Devon went down at the half," ASU head coach Dip Metress said. "Our guys are still playing out of position and we have to figure things out before Thursday. I want to apologize to our fans for where our program is right now. We will make it back."
Sophomore forward Devon-Wright Nelson was injured in the first half and did not play in the second period due to a sprained right ankle. Three Jags, including two starters, fouled out in the second half as well.
Aiken was paced by junior forward Paul Larsen's game-high 21 points and nine rebounds, with Ronald Zimmerman notching 15 points.
Aiken built a 10-point advantage over the rest of the first half, closing out the period, 34-26. ASU pulled within four early in the second half, but could not get ahead. Aiken began to pull away with a little over 16 minutes left and built a 21-point advantage, 73-52 with 1:32 left in the game. They ended with a 14-point spread over ASU.
ASU shot 37 percent (22-of-59) in the contest, while Aiken shot 46 percent (24-of-52). The Pacers won the battle on the boards, grabbing 43 rebounds to the Jags' 30. ASU was 2-11 from beyond the arc, while Aiken connected on 6-18. The Pacers scored 22 points from the charity stripe, shooting 69 percent.
ASU hosts Clayton State on Thursday, Feb. 7 in a PBC battle at 7:30 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.