USC Aiken routs Georgia Regents in second round of Division II Tournament

USC Aiken 78, Georgia Regents 58

AIKEN — Alvin Brown hasn’t forgotten about USC Aiken’s last loss.

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USC Aiken's DeVontae Wright, who led the team with 19 points, attempts to dribble past Georgia Regents' defender Harold Doby.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
USC Aiken's DeVontae Wright, who led the team with 19 points, attempts to dribble past Georgia Regents' defender Harold Doby.

On Feb. 1, Brown played poorly in the Pacers’ home defeat to Georgia Regents. When the rivals faced off in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament on Sunday night, Brown was determined to make amends.

The USC Aiken senior center almost posted a triple double in a dominating performance as the fifth-ranked Pacers rolled to a 78-58 win over Georgia Regents in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament at the USC Aiken Convocation Center.

The Pacers (31-3) advance to play Montevallo in the Southeast Regional championship Tuesday night. The winner of that contest advances to the Elite Eight in Evansville, Ind.

In two previous games against the Jaguars this season, Brown recorded five points, five blocks and seven rebounds total. This time around, he scored 16 points with 11 rebounds and nine blocks.

“I knew this was a big game,” Brown said. “I remember the last time we played them here, I didn’t play all that well. That’s been heavy on me all season that we lost that game. Coming out tonight, I brought as much energy as I possibly could. I played as hard as I could. I wasn’t even thinking about my numbers.”

Georgia Regents and USC Aiken met in the Division II Tournament for the second time. The Jaguars defeated the Pacers in the 2009 Sweet Sixteen.

During the regular season, Georgia Regents dominated inside the paint in a 97-84 win at Aiken. In the return game in Augusta, USC Aiken bounced back from an 18-point, second-half deficit to win 82-73.

USC Aiken, the Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament champion, got off to a hot start behind Brown. He scored his team’s first six points and blocked two shots within the first five minutes of the game. The Pacers bolted to a 29-17 lead after Ronald Zimmerman, who scored 15 points, drained a 3-pointer with 5:40 left until halftime.

USC Aiken suffered a major blow when senior point guard DeVontae Wright, the team’s leading scorer, went down holding with ankle injury a minute later. Wright left the court and Georgia Regents took advantage.

Keshun Sherrill made an 18-foot jumper to ignite a 12-0 run. Ronell Crockett leaned in from 15 feet to knot the game at 29. Wright re-entered the game with 1:07 left before halftime and knocked down a pair of free throws to stake the Pacers to a two-point lead entering halftime.

In the opening two minutes of the second half, Brown scored five points and blocked a shot. USC Aiken ran out to a 53-41 lead.

“Alvin is leading the way,” Wright said. “He’s starting to get us going. He’s big for us.”

“He’s a big presence inside, altering a lot of shots,” Georgia Regents center K.J. Sherrill said. “We weren’t able to finish shots around the rim.”

Crockett converted a three-point play to pull his team within 53-48. But on four consecutive possessions, Georgia Regents’ Harold Doby turned it over, D’Angelo Boyce committed an offensive foul, Doby got blocked by Brown and then Doby turned it over. USC Aiken scored eight in a row, with Wright, who led the Pacers with 19 points, hitting two free throws for a 61-48 lead with 4:30 remaining.

Georgia Regents (24-8) posted its worst shooting performance of the season, shooting 30 percent from the floor, eclipsing the previous season low of 37 percent two months ago at Georgia College. The Jaguars made consecutive baskets just twice in the contest – once in the first half, another time in the second half. Georgia Regents also posted a season-low four assists.

“In postseason play, you have have to have the ability to play through contact,” Jaguars coach Dip Metress said. “We didn’t do a great job of playing through contact tonight.”

USC Aiken coach Vince Alexander added: “I consider them one of the best offensive-executing teams in the country. We’ve talked about taking our defense to the next level. We want to really turn up our defense. It’s really important to us, because we believe defense is going to win championships.”

Ryan Weems, Keshun Sherrill and K.J. Sherrill each scored 12 points to lead the Jaguars. Devon Wright-Nelson, who posted 28 points against Anderson on Saturday night, fouled out with five points. Doby led the team with 12 rebounds, getting ejected from his final game after a hard foul on Paul Larsen on a breakaway dunk in the final minute.

NCAA Southeast Regional

Second round



GEORGIA REGENTS (24-8)–Harold Doby 1-5 3-6 5, Ryan Weems 5-14 1-3 12, Devon Wright-Nelson 2-6 1-1 5, Keshun Sherrill 3-9 5-8 12, K.J. Sherrill 2-12 8-8 12, Ronell Crockett 4-8 1-1 9, Devonte Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, D’Angelo Boyce 0-1 1-2 1, Roman Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Henry McCarthy 0-0 2-2 2. Totals: 17-56 22-31 58.

USC AIKEN (31-3)–DeVontae Wright 3-10 13-13 19, Ronald Zimmerman 5-11 0-0 15, Paul Larsen 4-5 3-3 11, Jesse Seilern 2-9 4-6 8, Alvin Brown 5-9 6-7 16, Santoine Butler 1-2 1-2 3, Shane Porchea 0-0 0-0 0, Grant Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Rick Alderman 1-1 4-6 6. Totals: 21-48 31-37 78.

Halftime: USC Aiken 31-29 3-point goals: Georgia Regents 2-10 (Weems 1-3, Wright-Nelson 0-1, Ke. Sherrill 1-3, K.J. Sherrill 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Boyce 0-1), USC Aiken 5-16 (Wright 0-1, Zimmerman 5-10, Seilern 0-5). Rebounds: Georgia Regents 39 (Doby 12), USC Aiken 38 (Brown 11). Assists: Georgia Regents 4 (Doby 2), USC Aiken 11 (Wright 7). Turnovers: Georgia Regents 12, USC Aiken 11. Fouls: Georgia Regents 25, USC Aiken 24. Fouled out: Doby (ejected), Wright-Nelson. A-2,111.

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ajones25 03/17/14 - 07:51 am
Jags had a solid season in

Jags had a solid season in returning back to the NCAA regionals - but this group had maturity & character issues - in the last two games that were lost vs. USC-A there was seven flagrant & technical fouls called against the Jags - with Harold Doby being the main instigator with his repeated cheap shots last nite - two flagrant fouls - a third could have easily been assessed (see photos nine & ten of the Chronicle slideshow of the game - before and after of a closed fisted elbow drop being delivered). However, there seems to be no reaction from Coach Metress to this type of behavior - he was even allowed to stay in the game in the closing minute of the quarter final contest the nite before vs. Anderson after engaging in an altercation with his teammates in a time out huddle - This win at any cost mentality is not an admirable quality nor represents the program well - I don't exactly see leadership at the top in dealing with Doby's well documented issues to go along with last year's fiasco with accepting Chad July as a transfer.

On the other hand it was a pleasure watching the Sherrill brothers perform this year - great talents - these guys were worth the price of admission in the way they play the game.

JM88 03/17/14 - 10:28 am
Twenty-four wins and a trip

Twenty-four wins and a trip to the regional semifinals is a very fine year, but it was beginning to occur to me in recent weeks that this team was lacking an intangible quality that some of the previous great Augusta State teams possessed. Maybe that quality was maturity. Blowing the big lead to Aiken at home was a troubling sign, as was the mountain of technical fouls we committed in that game. Then we came apart late against Montevallo and Anderson - thankfully we pulled out the latter game - and collapsed in the second half again last night. Disappointing way to close out an otherwise positive year.

The future looks bright, though. I thought the heart and soul of our team this year was the Sherrill brothers and Boyce - two of those three will be back next year. We'll be strong on the wing with Thomas, Crockett, and Hill coming back as seniors. If Dip can find some help inside for Wright-Nelson and McCarthy, we should be very formidable.

beep beep
beep beep 03/17/14 - 11:07 am
First of all when you talk

First of all when you talk about leadership and character Metress is at the top of the list so don't question that. Did anyone elase see coach Alexander and his coaching staff taunting Devon when he received his 5th foul?? Congrats to USCA you've got a great group of players this year, kind of like ASU had their run a few years ago. Dip has had to rebuild(very successfully) and continue to have quality teams. I can't wait until next year and Aiken has to rebuild after losing 10 seniors. Go Jags

newburyguy 03/17/14 - 07:32 pm
Sad to see a team that has

Sad to see a team that has some talent go out this way. In this and the several of the last few games, the team (and head coach) seem to believe it is ok to play as if they are on a pick up court and not as NCAA athletes. The obviously intentional and borderline dangerous fouls (pictured in Chronicle and elsewhere) are reflective of a team with extremely poor coaching and a lack of understanding of what wins games.

Augusta State, sorry GRU, sorry GRU-A (or whatever we call it now) was a good team who decided to stoop to an unnecessary level to try to win. It looked classless in several games late in the season and reflects poorly on talented players and a good university. The athletic director (or Dr. Azziz) needs to get involved and straighten this situation out. The reputation earned by this type of play is NOT what the university should strive for. If anyone thinks Coach Dip is a model of character and that he is teaching these boys well, I'd recommend a better prescription.

DowntownJaguar 03/17/14 - 10:20 pm
Paul Larsen deserved the hard foul by Harold Doby...

The game was clearly over and he was trying to show up the Jaguars. I just wish Doby could've gotten a harder foul on Larsen in his last play. Aiken is good--really good. Too bad most of their fans were dozing during most of the second half--I suppose 8:45 is late on Sunday night for those retirees...

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