Trojans Sweep Fleet Behind Balanced Effort

Box Score

DUE WEST, S.C. – Using a late scoring outburst, the Anderson men’s basketball team had four players reach double figures and ended a six-day layoff by outpacing Erskine, 67-52, en route to winning its second straight contest Tuesday night at Belk Arena.  

Anderson (4-3) used a 21-3 run over the final six minutes to earn a sweep of the season series and claim its eighth win in the last 11 meetings between the rivals. Erskine dropped to 0-5 on the season and will be looking for its first win of the season on the road this Saturday at St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Erskine junior Filip Pejovic connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the night to give the Fleet a brief 49-46 edge with 6:24 left in the contest, but AU guard Oskars Ernsteins drew a foul on AU’s ensuing possession and drained all three free throws to knot the score at 49 apiece – the seventh and final tie score of the contest.

Following an Erskine miss, the senior from Rigas, Latvia knocked down another trey to give the Trojans a lead they would not surrender at 52-49. Teammate Denzail Jones swiped the ball on the other end and hit both free throws to boost the AU lead to five points at the 4:44 mark and after the Fleet’s DeShaun Hall hit his second 3-pointer of the game, Ernsteins answered with yet another triple as AU went on to score the final 13 points of the contest to garner its first road win of the season.

Neither team was able to garner more than a five-point lead in the opening half that featured four lead changes, with Anderson scoring the first five points of the game, only to see Erskine knot the score at 10-10 with 14:25 remaining in the first stanza.

The Fleet opened up a pair of four-point leads over the next nine minutes, the last at 23-19 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Filip Pejovic. Jones countered with back-to-back baskets to even the score for the final time of the half, then both teams suffered a scoring drought over the next three minutes.

EC’s John Michael Smith snapped the tie with a layup but junior guard Nick Trull scored seven unanswered points for the Trojans with a 3-pointer at the 1:15 mark and recorded a rare four-point play just 22 seconds before intermission to give AU a 30-25 lead at the break.   
Ernsteins finished with a season-high 17 points, with 14 coming in the final six minutes. Kevis Cornwell, who has reached double figures in each of the last five games, added 14 points and Trull notched 12 points off the bench. Jones tossed in 11 points and shared team-high rebounding honors with six while handing out three assists.

Erskine’s Pejovic led all scorers with 20 points while Hall contributed eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.  Travis Liner also finished with eight points for the Fleet.

Anderson has a day off before getting back on the hardwood to host Southern Wesleyan on Thursday. Tip-off versus the Warriors is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Abney Center.  

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