Balanced Attack Leads Trojans Past Flying FleetNovember 16, 2011
ANDERSON, S.C. – With nine players reaching the scoring column, the Anderson men’s basketball team won its home-opener by outpacing rival Erskine, 57-54, in front of a boisterous crowd Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (2-1) opened a brief two-game homestand by claiming its third straight win in the rivalry and ninth in the last 12 meetings between the two schools, while Erskine slipped to 0-3 on the young season and suffered its seventh consecutive setback and 16th in its last 17 outings, dating back to last season.
The contest featured eight ties and six lead changes, with both teams struggling early on the offensive end, as the Trojans misfired on eight of its first 10 attempts from the field, while the Flying Fleet missed four of its first six shots.
AU edged out to a 9-5 lead at the 14:15 mark of the opening half on an old-fashioned three-point play from senior guard Nick Trull and the Trojan defense stepped up to the challenge by holding Erskine scoreless over a 3:33 span.
But neither team was able to build more than the narrow four-point cushion, with AU again pushing out to an 18-14 advantage when senior guard Jo’el Lamb drained a trey from deep in the left corner with 8:33 left in the half.
The was tied again on two occasions inside the final two minutes of the frame and neither team was able to score over the final 1:22, with the Trojans clinging to a 28-26 lead when the horn sounded
Trull snapped a 32-32 tie – the eighth of the night – by sinking his second 3-pointer three minutes into the second half, giving Anderson a lead it would not relinquish.
With AU leading, 41-40, at the 12:10 mark, the Trojans reeled off nine unanswered points over the next two-plus minutesto gain the largest lead of the night by either team. Senior Taylor Shugart sparked the outburst by connecting on 1-of-2 from the line, while junior guard C.J. Gleaton tossed in four of his seven points on the night during the run.
Erskine countered by scoring five quick points, but the Trojans held off the challenge down the stretch.
With Anderson holding a 56-53 lead, both teams hit a four-minute scoring that was broken when Erskine’s Mike Gabbard hit the second of two free throws with 31.2 showing on the clock.
On the ensuing possession, Gleaton drew a foul and hit one-of-two from the charity stripe with 27.8 remaining to ultimately set the final margin, but not before the Flying Fleet launched two attempts at tying the score in the final 14 seconds. Senior Brandon Quarles was unable to connect on a long attempt, but Erskine garnered the offensive rebound and following back-to-back timeouts by the Fleet, sophomore Travis Liner missed a three-point attempt with :04 on the clock.
Trull scored a game-high 15 points, while Lamb added nine points. Senior Stephen Cobb pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and Denzail Jones recorded a team-high three assists.
Anderson will get back on the hardwood Saturday, when North Greenville invades the Abney Athletic Center for a 4 p.m. tip-off.