Pacer men roll in PBC opener

In Aiken, reigning Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week Ronald Zimmerman scored 22 points, DeVontae Wright added 22 of his own, and the USC Aiken men’s basketball team cruised to an 85-67 win over Francis Marion in their conference opener Monday night.

Paul Larsen posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers (8-2, 1-0 Peach Belt), who have won four in a row.

Mykel Harris scored a game-high 24 points for the Patriots (3-2, 0-1).

• In Aiken, Briana Robinson made a game-winning jumper with 3 seconds left to lift the Francis Marion to a 71-69 win over USC Aiken women.

Dee Gray led the Lady Patriots (5-2, 1-1 Peach Belt) with 18 points. Kim Roch had 12 and Robinson finished with 11.

Porsha Martin had 17 points to lead the Lady Pacers (2-8, 0-2). Courtney Mealing and Kate Duff had 12 points apiece.

• Georgia Military College coach Bert Williams, a Westside graduate, was named the American Community College Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

Williams recently completed, in his 14th season at GMC, guided the Bulldogs to an 11-1 record and an appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game.


Horse Racing

Palace Malice to increase training

Dogwood Stable says Palace Malice will now train six days a week.

The Belmont Stakes winner will have his regimen tightened from every-other-day exercise as he prepares for the 2014 season.

“The distance of his gallops is being increased gradually from a mile and an eighth to a mile and three-eighths, and he will have one three-eighths of a mile breeze on Jan. 4, prior to departing for Florida on Jan. 7,” Dogwood president Cot Campbell said.

Palace Malice will join trainer Todd Pletcher at Palm Meadows, where he will have the finishing touches applied for his 2014 debut in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap on March 29.



Hendrix moves up in qualifying

In La Quinta, Calif., Aiken’s Matt Hendrix moved up to 42nd entering the final day of Web.com Tour qualifying.

Hendrix shot 70 to move up seven spots in the six-day, 108-hole event that will determine player priority rankings for the Web.com Tour season.

Former USC Aiken golfer Roberto Diaz dropped into a tie for 83rd after 77.

Former Augusta State standout Mitch Krywulycz shot 73 and is tied for 136th.



Croatian player banned for chant

FIFA suspended Croatian defender Josip Simunic for 10 games – including the entire World Cup –for leading fans in a pro-Nazi chant after the team qualified for next year’s tournament in Brazil.

Simunic invoked a World War II-era slogan used by Croatia’s then-puppet regime following a 2-0 playoff victory against Iceland last month.

“After taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incident, the committee decided to suspend the player for 10 official matches,” FIFA said in a statement.

The sanction reflected FIFA’s commitment to harsher sanctions for racism and discrimination at matches.

Croatian coach Niko Kovac said the ban likely ended the 35-year-old defender’s national team career.

– From staff and wire reports



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