Peterson Double OT Jumper Sends Cougars to PBC Championship
COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University (18-10) upset
the regular season Peach Belt Conference Champions USC Aiken (21-7)
in double overtime in the PBC Semifinals Saturday evening in the
Frank G. Lumpkin Center. A baseline jumper by CSU’s Steve
Peterson with three seconds left on the clock in double overtime
proved to be the difference.
The Cougars will now take on the University of Montevallo in the PBC Championship on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
CSU was led by Idell Bell who scored 16 points while Peterson added 14. Jamarquis Steverson scored 13 points and Darius Mcknight had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
USCA was led by Re’Mon Nelson who scored 18 while Sterling Council added 17. Chase Holmes came in third with 13.
Both teams came out of the gate cold as they combined for five points over the opening five minutes. With 10:50 left to play in the first half and the Pacers ahead 7-6, USCA began an 8-2 run capped off by a Nelson layup to take a seven-point lead. CSU answered with four-straight points all coming from the free throw line to cut the lead to just three.
A 5-0 run by Bell beginning at the 5:54 mark tied the game for the Cougars as he hit a three and a pair of free throws to tie the game at 17. CSU took its first lead since the 17:54 mark of the half on a layup by Dimitri Davis but a quick jumper by the Pacers knotted the game back up.
The Pacers and Cougars then traded three-point baskets to keep the game tied. A 4-0 run by McKnight gave the Cougars a four-point lead with just 38 seconds left on the clock but a layup as timed expired by Nelson cut the lead to just two as both teams headed into the half.
USCA shot 30.3 percent in the first half while the Cougars connected on 28.6 percent. USCA went just 1-of-9 from three-point range and CSU made one better going 2-of-9. Both teams struggled from the free throw line as CSU was 12-of-20 good for 60 percent and USCA was 3-of-7 good for 42.9 percent.
Nelson opened the second half with a three to give USCA a one-point lead but the Cougars responded with six-straight points including back-to-back jumpers from Steve Peterson. With 15:55 left the Pacers used a 5-0 run to take a one point lead with 14:35 to play. The teams would trade baskets on the next few possessions but with 11:27 to play CSU used a 5-0 run to take a seven-point lead which would be the biggest of the half.
The Pacers slowly worked their way back into the game and a three-pointer by Nelson tied the game with 2:23 to play. A jumper by the Pacers and a pair of free throws by the Cougars would be all either team could produce over the final two minutes as missed shots and turnovers produced a 57-57 score at the end of regulation.
CSU shot 58.8 percent from the field in the second half while the Cougars hit 54.5 percent. CSU improved its three-point shooting in the second half hitting 2-of-5 while the Pacers found their range going 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.
The Cougars jumped out to the early lead in the first overtime period as Steverson and McKnight combined for four points in the opening minute while the Pacers scored just one point on a free throw. Four-straight free throws and a jumper by Council gave the Pacers a three-point lead with 1:26 to play. Both teams struggled to find the bucket over the next minute but a leaning three by Peterson tied the game with 16 seconds left. Nelson attempted a three as the buzzer sounded but it missed the mark to send the game into a second overtime.
USCA was just 1-of-6 from the field in the overtime period but converted on 5-of-8 free throw attempts. The Cougars were not much better as they hit 2-of-4 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line.
CSU and USCA traded baskets on the opening few possessions of the second overtime but an old-fashioned three-point play by Rick Alderman gave the Pacers a three-point lead. Peterson answered with a three-pointer of his own to tie the game and Jonathan Murphy hit a layup to put the Cougars up by two. USCA answered with five-straight points to take a 74-71 lead with 35 seconds left on the clock. McKnight was fouled on the next possession and hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to just one with 17 seconds left. The Pacers struggled to inbound the ball and had it knocked out of bounds three times before a misplaced dribble turned the ball back over to the Cougars. Peterson hit a baseline jumper with three seconds left to put the Cougars up by one and a half court heave fell short for the Pacers as the Cougars won, 75-74.