Young's 29 Points Leads Trojans Past North Georgia

Senior posts season-high

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson men’s basketball team scored the first seven points in overtime to hold off North Georgia College & State University, 102-98, in overtime in non-conference action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.   

Anderson (7-4) won its second straight game and fifth in its last six outings, while improving to 4-1 at home. North Georgia (2-6) has dropped five of its last six games, with all five setbacks by seven points or less.

The Trojans jumped out to a quick 7-2 advantage inside the first two minutes of the game and held a 16-10 lead at the 14:08 mark behind senior Kevis Cornwell’s hot hand. The 6-foot-2 guard scored 10 points in the opening six minutes of the contest to help keep the Saints at bay.

North Georgia closed within 16-15 midway through the first half before AU answered with a 9-2 run over the next three minutes to spurt back out to an eight-point lead. Senior forward Trey Britton sparked the outburst with a slam and freshman guard Denzail Jones capped the run with three free throws after drawing a foul on a three-point attempt.        

Anderson pushed the advantage to double digits on senior guard Brandon Young’s 3-pointer from the top of the circle and claimed a 33-20 lead, the largest of the night, when guard Nick Trull drained a trey from the same spot with 4:39 left in the first half. The Trojans went to the locker room holding a 47-36 halftime lead.

North Georgia scored the five points of the second stanza, before AU’s Tyrell McDowell snapped the run with a 3 from the top of the circle. The Saints refused to surrender and chipped away to knot the score for just the second time of the night, 65-62, with 11:19 remaining.

Trull responded with a driving layup and connected on the ensuing free throw to start a 9-2 run by AU, but NGCSU again rallied and claimed their first lead of the night, 80-77, on a 3-pointer from senior Carl Taylor with less than five minutes left on the clock. North Georgia edged out to a five-point lead before AU trimmed the deficit to a single point twice inside the final two minutes.

Trailing 86-83 with 1:02 on the clock, Oskars Ernsteins sank two free throws and AU forced a shot clock violation on NGCSU’s ensuing possession with 28.4 showing, but was unable to immediately capitalize as the Trojans’ shot was blocked out of bounds. With a second opportunity, Britton worked inside and banked a shot off the glass while drawing the foul with 14.3 seconds left in regulation. His free throw boosted the Trojans’ lead to 88-86 but the Saints’ Clarence Tillman tied the score with a runner in rthe lane with less than four seconds remaining.

Following a 30-second timeout, Young took the inbounds pass and worked up the right side just past midcourt but his jumper at the buzzer fell just short off the front of the rim as the horn sounded to send the contest into overtime.

North Georgia held a 32-28 rebounding edge, while AU forced the Saints into 15 turnovers – converting those miscues into 33 points. The Trojans out-shot NGCSU 53.7 percent to 51.7 percent on the night.

Young led four Trojans in double figures with a season-high 29 points and dished out a game-high five assists, while Cornwell added 19 points and recorded five rebounds. Britton tallied 15 points and Taylor Shugart netted 10 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

North Georgia’s Taylor led all scorers with 31 points, while Tillman chipped in 23 points. Keldrick Coleman and Elijah Smith each garnered 12 points for the Saints.

Anderson closes out its non-conference slate on Saturday when the Trojans visit UNC Pembroke before taking a 17-day break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Tip-off versus the Braves is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the English E. Jones Center.

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