AIKEN, S.C. -- The Columbus State Cougars fell to USC Aiken 82-70 Saturday night.
CSU tied the Pacers with 41 points in the second half, but that did not help the Cougars overcome a 12-point deficit at halftime.
The Pacers had a 14-7 lead after the first five minutes of the first half had passed. At the 10:40 mark USC Aiken had a 26-13 advantage, but a BJ Battle dunk at 6:38 on the board narrowed the gap to 31-23.
At 3:21 left in the first half the Pacers were back to a 13-point lead at 38-25. USC Aiken did not give up much of this advantage before going into the half ahead 41-29.
Five minutes into the second half saw the Pacers move to a 50-33 lead. USC Aiken hovered around a 10-point advantage, but a Dimitri Davis jumper narrowed the gap to nine points at 52-43.
The Pacers went on another run that saw them take a 67-51 lead with 5:55 remaining in the game, but Columbus State battled back to narrow the gap to nine points once again just three minutes later.
Two free throws by Kenney Funderburk with 1:38 left got the Cougars to within eight points of the lead at 73-65, but USC Aiken was able to prevent a late comeback to pick up the win.
Funderburk led the Cougars with 14 points. He also had four rebounds, one assists and a steal.
Battle and Jahmad Saleem had 10 points each, Jermaine Morgan tallied 9 points and R.J Sessions netted 7. Morgan led CSU with 10 rebounds.
Columbus State (7-4, 1-3 Peach Belt Conference) will host Francis Marion Friday at 7:30 p.m.