Big Second Half Propels Trojans Past Erskine

Young Scores Team-High 19 Points

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – Using an 18-7 run to open the second half,  the Anderson men’s basketball team erased a 10-point halftime deficit and went on to top rival Erskine, 79-69, in non-conference action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.  

Less than 24 hours after dropping a hard-fought decision at South Carolina State and playing their fourth game in six days, the Trojans snapped an early tie and bolted to a 20-11 lead in the first six minutes of action in their home-opener. Freshman Denzail Jones capped an early 8-2 outburst with a 3-pointer from the left corner, one of four treys by the Trojans in the opening minutes.

With the near-capacity on its feet most of the night, Anderson (2-2) evened its record and continues to dominate the recent rivalry with the Flying Fleet, winning six of the last seven meetings and seven of the last 10 contests. Erskine dropped to 0-2 on the young season and will be looking to pick up its first win of the season on Saturday at Lander.

The Fleet capitalized on two turnovers and three missed shots by AU over the next three minutes and reeled off seven unanswered points to climb back within 20-18 at the 11:48 mark. A jumper from EC guard John Michael Smith capped a 12-3 run by the visitors and a basket by guard DeShaun Hall gave the visitors their first lead since the opening minute of the contest.

The Erskine lead grew to six less than two minutes later before AU battled back to trim the deficit to 33-32 when junior Tyrell McDowell connected on one-of-two from the charity stripe. But Erskine closed the half by outscoring Anderson 11-2, taking a 10-point advantage to the locker room.

Following a 3-pointer from Hall, the Flying Fleet still held a nine-point edge with more than 15 minutes left in the contest, but a trey from Jones ignited a 10-0 run that saw Trey Britton score four straight for AU and gave the Trojans their first lead since midway through the first half.  

Erskine’s Smith converted a steal into a layup, but Kevis Cornwell answered with an inside bucket and two minutes later, McDowell put back his own missed 3-pointer to boost AU’s lead to 56-53 with 10:58 left in the game.

The Trojans extended their lead to 15 points inside the six-minute mark and EC was unable to get closer than eight the rest of the way. 

Anderson senior guard Brandon Young shared game-high scoring honors with 19 points, while Kevis Cornwell added 13 points, collected a team-best seven rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists. Junior guard Nick Trull chipped in 10 points off the bench.

The Flying Fleet was led by sophomore Chris Gore with 19 points and seven boards. Freshman guard DeShaun Hall netted 16 points, with 11 coming in the first half. EC freshman guard Travis Liner scored 15 points off the bench and guard John Michael Smith handed out a game-high six assists.

The Trojans will get back on the hardwood Saturday, when AU visits Peach Belt Conference-foe and 24th-ranked Montevallo, which has been idle since defeating carver Bible College last Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. (EST) at BankTrust Arena.  

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