UNC Pembroke Holds Off Trojans

Box Score

PEMBROKE, N.C. – Offensive woes and foul trouble proved costly as the Anderson men’s basketball team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with an 84-69 setback to UNC Pembroke Saturday afternoon at the English E. Jones Center.  

Anderson (7-5) had its’ two-game win streak snapped, while UNC Pembroke (8-2) improved to 4-1 at home this season and avenged last season’s 107-90 setback at the hands of the Trojans. AU came up shy in its bid to defeat their fourth Peach Belt opponent of the 2010-11 campaign after knocking off Clayton State, Georgia College and North Georgia earlier this season.  

The Trojans converted 18 turnovers by the homstanding Braves into 17 points, but were outscored 48-20 in the paint by UNCP with Trey Britton garnering two fouls inside the first three minutes of action and Taylor Shugart limited to just 20 minutes after suffering a cut above his right eye.   

In a first half that featured five tie scores and 14 lead changes, UNC Pembroke’s Mike Robinson gave the Braves a brief 33-30 lead with a pair of free throws with 5:42 left before halftime, but the Trojans answered with an 11-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to take a 41-35 lead on senior guard Brandon Young's 3-pointer with 93 seconds left before the halftime buzzer. Young and Oskars Ernsteins sparked the run with back-to-back 3s, while Kevis Cornwell added a jumper during the outburst.

UNCP scored the game's next five points to get to within one, 41-40, but Cornwell's turnaround jumper with two seconds left gave the Trojans a 43-40 advantage heading into the locker rooms.

Cornwell's free throw with 13:07 left to play provided the game's ninth tie score of the game, but Chris Hargrove's trey 23 seconds later sparked the Braves to an 8-0 scoring spurt that gave the hosts the lead for good. Anderson climbed within three twice inside the final eight minutes, but Hargrove's short jumper at the 2:25 mark capped a 14-3 run that put the game out of reach for the Trojans.

Cornwell scored a game-high 21 points for the Trojans, while Nick Trull added 12 points and Tyrell McDowell chipped in 10 points. Shugart pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. 

Shahmel Brackett scored a team-high 19 points for UNC Pembroke to pace four Braves in double figures. George Blakeney posted 15 points, while Hargrove also finished with 15 points. Nathan Priest turned in a 13-point, eight rebound effort.

Following a 17-day break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Anderson gets back on the hardwood with a three-game conference homestand beginning with Lenoir-Rhyne on Wednesday, Jan. 5. Tip-off versus the Bears is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Abney Athletic Center.

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