Last-second shot by Cougars sinks Pacers

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COLUMBUS, Ga. — Steve Peterson hit a running 6-footer with 3.1 seconds left in the second overtime as Columbus State knocked off top-seeded USC Aiken 75-74 on Saturday night in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals at the Lumpkin Center.

“That is big-shot Steve,” Columbus State coach Robert Moore said. “I tell the team all the time that when the game is on the line, the ball has got to be in Steve’s hands.

Columbus State also won Friday night’s quarterfinal game in overtime over UNC Pembroke.

Saturday night’s win was Columbus State’s 13th consecutive win in overtime dating back to a loss on Jan. 7, 2004.

“Coach (Herbert) Greene started that streak,” Moore said. “I just don’t want to be the one that messes it up.”

The win puts the Cougars (18-10) into today’s final against Montevallo, which beat Columbus State twice this season. The Falcons were the only PBC team to beat the Cougars at home.

This is Columbus State’s first PBC Tournament final since 2005, when it beat USC Upstate for the title.

In the second overtime, Peterson hit a 3-pointer and Johnathan Murphy made a layup as Columbus State took a 71-69 lead with 1:13 left.

USC Aiken, which won the PBC regular-season championship, responded with five consecutive points to lead 74-71 with 35 seconds left.

After Peterson missed a 3-pointer, Darius Mcknight grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws with 17.7 left.

After Jarmarquis Steverson almost made two steals, USC Aiken (21-7) turned the ball over when Sterling Council stepped on the sideline after being trapped after accepting the inbounds pass.


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