No. 21 Trojans Rally From Halftime Deficit to Hold off WingateFebruary 22, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – Using a 17-5 run to open the second half, the 21st –ranked Anderson men’s basketball team erased a nine-point halftime deficit and went on to defeat upset-minded Wingate, 63-57, in South Atlantic Conference play Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (21-4, 16-1 SAC), which has clinched the top seed in the conference tourney, upped its win streak to seven games and has won 14 of its last 15 contests, while recording its fourth consecutive win past the Bulldogs. Wingate slipped to 16-11 overall and 12-5 in the league, dropping its first decision in three games.
The Trojans scored the game’s first points on a 3-pointer from senior guard Nick Trull, then struggled through a scoring drought of more than four minutes and committed four turnovers that enabled Wingate to reel off 11 unanswered points as part of a 25-7 run.
Anderson sophomore guard Chandler Hash snapped the Bulldog outburst with two free throws at the 15:05 mark, but the Bulldogs took their largest lead of the game, 25-10, on a 3-pointer from senior guard Jamie Vaughn with 6:17 remaining in the opening half.
The Trojans countered with a 10-2 run over the next four minutes, with senior Taylor Shugart’s traditional three-point play cutting the deficit to single digits, at 27-20, with just less than three minutes on the clock.
The two teams battled on nearly even terms over the final moments of the frame, with Wingate holding a 32-23 lead at the break.
The Trojans came out of the break by scoring 14 unanswered points as part of the decisive 17-5 outburst and took its first lead since the opening moments, at 34-32, on a jumper by Tyrell McDowell.
AU edged out to a six-point lead with 11:46 on the clock, but the Bulldogs stayed within striking distance and the score was knotted twice more before the Trojans connected on back-to-back 3-pointers – first by Hash, then from Trull to gain a 55-46 cushion with 5:03 left.
Vaughn knocked down a jumper for the Bulldogs, but Trull answered by draining his fifth 3-pointer of the night to lift the lead to double digits and AU connected on 5-of-6 free throws in the final moments to hold off the Bulldogs.
Trull led all scorers with 17 points, while guard Denzail Jones, the reigning two-time SAC Player of the Week, added 15 points and five assists. Senior Jo’el Lamb pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Vaughn and guard Eddie Lewis each posted 11 points for the Bulldogs
Anderson wraps up the regular season by playing host to Carson-Newman Saturday on Senior Day, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.