No. 21 Trojans Close Out Regular Season With Win Past Carson-NewmanFebruary 25, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – With four players in double figures, the 21st-ranked Anderson men’s basketball team wrapped up its regular-season schedule by outpacing Carson-Newman, 90-72, in South Atlantic Conference action on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (22-4, 17-1 SAC) extended its win streak to eight games, their longest of the season, and has won 15 of its last 16, while Carson-Newman (15-13, 8-10 SAC) closed the regular season by dropping two of its last three games.
Fresh off its upset of 12th-ranked Lincoln Memorial three nights ago, Carson-Newman was looking to dampen the Trojans’ sendoff of six seniors, with the first half featuring 11 lead changes and five ties and neither team was able to build more than a four-point lead through the first 15 minutes of action.
Leading, 38-33, following a 3-pointer by Carson-Newman sophomore guard Ishmael Sanders with 2:12 left in the first half, the Trojans closed the frame by sandwiching a pair of treys around a basket by the Eagles’ Kevin Leatherwood run to take a 44-35 lead into intermission. Senior guard Nick Trull connected on his third 3-pointer of the afternoon and following Leattherwood’s jumper, senior Tyrell McDowell drained his third triple to set the nine-point margin.
The Trojans opened a double-digit, 54-42, lead at the 16:22 mark of the second half and held the margin the rest of the way.
Anderson held a 40-27 rebounding edge, while both teams shot nearly the same from the field, with Anderson connecting on 32-of-67 (47.8%) and Carson-Newman posting 47.4 percent (27-of-57).
Trull equaled his career high with seven treys and led all scorers with 27 points, while fellow senior Taylor Shugart added 19 points. McDowell netted a career-high 16 points and shared team-high rebounding honors with seven boards. Junior guard Denzail Jones tallied 15 points and a game-high six assists.
Sanders finished with 24 points for the Eagles, while Antoine Davis added 16 points and a game-best nine rebounds, with Marcellous Perez posting 10 points.
Anderson opens conference tournament quarterfinal action Wednesday night as the No. 1 seed and will play host to eighth-seeded Catawba at the Abney Athletic Center. Tip-off versus the Indians is scheduled for 7 p.m.
• The Trojans will be looking for their third consecutive win past Catawba after sweeping this season’s regular-season series. As a No. 7 seed in last year’s SAC Tournament, the Indians upset second-seeded AU, 85-83, at the Abney Center.• Anderson improved to 35-7 (.833) at the Abney Center over the past three seasons.
• Anderson became just the fourth team in SAC history to suffer just one loss in South Atlantic Conference regular-season play and just the second current member to go through league slate with just one loss and the first since Carson-Newman in 2001-02.
• Anderson recorded the most regular-season league wins in SAC history and notched the highest league winning percentage (.944) in league history.