Seventh-Seeded Trojans Upset No. Two Seed Lincoln Memorial

Five Trojans Reach Double Figures

Box Score

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Paced by five players in double figures, seventh-seeded Anderson upset No. two seed Lincoln Memorial, 91-86, in opening- round action of the 2011 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional men’s basketball tournament Saturday afternoon at Augusta State’s Christenberry Fieldhouse.   

Anderson (19-11) took a 65-63 lead  on a 3-pointer from junior guard Nick Trull with just under eight minutes remaining and held off LMU (27-3), the 10th-ranked team in the nation, by connecting on 16-of-18 free throws inside the final seven minutes.

Meeting for the third time this season, Anderson claimed the “rubber match” as each team defended its home court during the season and was one of only two teams to defeat LMU during the regular season.

“I thought both teams played very well tonight,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “We knew we had to play extremely well and I am very proud of our team.”

Anderson pulled off its second first-round upset in as many years after knocking off Catawba in last year’s Southeast Regional. The Trojans move on to face sixth-seeded Montevallo in the semifinals on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. The Falcons upset No. 3 seed Georgia Southwestern, 62-59 in the opening game of the afternoon’s first session. The Trojans and Falcons met during the regular season with Montevallo holding AU off for a 79-75 victory.

The Trojans’ defense was stellar in the opening minutes, holding the potent LMU offense to just one field goal in the first four minutes. And in a game befitting the NCAA Tournament, the opening minutes were intense, as both teams combined to commit six turnovers in the first four minutes.

LMU sophomore Cam Carden connected on back-to-back 3s and freshman Vincent Bailey’s jumper capped an 8-3 run to give LMU a 10-5 edge with 14:19 remaining in the first half.

But in a game of runs, Anderson countered with a with 13-4 outburst fueled by senior Brandon Young’s three treys. However, the Railsplitters reeled off 10 unanswered points over the next three minutes to regain a 24-18 lead midway through the half.

Lincoln Memorial pushed out to a 37-30 cushion with 5:49 on the clock, but Oskars Ernsteins’ 3-pointer from deep in the left corner pulled AU within 39-36 with 4:14 left in the first half. The Railsplitters edged back out to a six-point edge twice in the closing minutes of the half, but Brandon Young drained a long-range trey from the right wing to set the score at 47-44 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

Following the break, AU inched back and finally evened the score at 47-47 on Taylor Shugart’s short turnaround jumper with 18:03 remaining in the game. But LMU responded with a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to take a lead at 57-49 and opened their largest lead of the contest, 59-50, midway through the frame.

The Trojans refused to surrender and freshman Denzail Jones’ traditional three-point play at the 9:42 mark pulled AU within 61-58. Following an intentional foul whistled on LMU’s Desmond Johnson, Ernsteins connected on the ensuing two free throws to edge AU within a single point. Two additional tosses from the line from Trull gave the Trojans a 62-62 lead, their first advantage since the 11:57 mark of the opening half, and his 3-pointer less than a minute later gave AU a lead it would not relinquish.

LMU misfired on six-of-14 free throws down the stretch, while AU capitalized to build an 80-70 lead with just 2:17 left. The Railsplitters made a late flurry of five-of-six 3-pointers to help set the final margin.

Trull led five Trojans in double with 20 points, while Young tossed in 16 points.  Jones added 14 points and dished out five assists. Shugart and Trey Britton each tallied 13 points.
LMU’s Darryl Garrett led all scorers with 24 points.

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