Trojans Defeat Tusculum for Fifth Straight WinJanuary 18, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – Using a pair of second half runs, Anderson outpaced Tusculum, 75-63, in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (12-3, 7-0 SAC) earned its ninth win in the last 10 outings and claimed its fourth consecutive win past the Pioneers, while Tusculum suffered its first setback in three games and slipped to 7-8 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
The Trojans overcame a slow start en route to garnering the win, starting the contest by connecting on just one of their first 12 shots from the field while Tusculum pushed out to a 10-3 lead with 11:27 left in the low-scoring first half.
Anderson trailed by nine points twice late in the opening frame, before the Trojans closed the half with a 9-2 outburst to climb within 27-25 at halftime. Senior Taylor Shugart, the reigning conference player of the week, dropped in back-to back baskets to ignite the rally, while fellow senior Jo’el Lamb added a jumper and Nick Trull followed a Pioneer basket with his second 3-pointer of the game inside the final minute to cap the rally.
Tusculum opened a six-point advantage in the opening minutes of the second half before the Trojans went on a 16-4 run over a five-minute span to take a lead they would not relinquish.
A layup by the Pioneers’ Justin Steigerwald gave the visitors a 34-28 lead at the 17:19 mark of the second half, before the Trojans countered with three consecutive 3-pointers to gain their first lead since the 18:21 mark of the first half. Junior guard Denzail Jones connected with a trey to spark the surge, while Lamb knocked down another 3 and Tyrell McDowell hit his lone 3-pointer of the contest, giving AU a 37-34 edge with 14:33 left. Jones added another four points and Trull connected on a jumper, boosting the Trojans’ advantage to 44-38 with more than 12 minutes remaining.
The Trojans took a double-digit lead, 61-49, with less than five minutes on the clock and pushed out to their largest lead of the game, 70-54, at the 2:32 mark.
Trull finished with a team-high 22 points, while Jones scored 16 points and handed out four assists and swiped four steals. Lamb added 13 points and five steals.
Tusculum senior guard Kevin Vest led all scorers with 23 points and Steigerwald, a preseason second-team all-conference selection, netted 11 points.
The Trojans close the first half of the South Atlantic Conference double round robin schedule with a two-game SAC road swing, beginning Saturday afternoon at Carson-Newman. Tip-off versus the Eagles is slated for 2 p.m.