Turnovers Prove Costly as Trojans Drop Season Opener to Flying FleetNovember 14, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – The visiting Flying Fleet scored 22 points off turnovers, as Erskine defeated Anderson, 87-72, before a capacity crowd in nonconference men’s basketball action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (0-1), which opens the season with five consecutive home games, had its win streak versus the Fleet halted at four, while having won 10 of the last 14 meetings. Erskine improved to 2-0 on the young season after defeating the Trojans for the first time since claiming a six-point win in 2010.
Despite being hampered by early foul trouble, senior guard Denzail Jones led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field, while junior Chandler Hash added 10 points. Senior guard CJ Gleaton recorded a team-high seven rebounds and dished out a team-best three assists.
Senior forward Corey Sorrell led five Fleet players in double figures with 23 points, while connecting on 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Freshman Roderick Perkins and junior guard DeShaun Hall each added 16 points, with junior guard Mike Gabbard chipping in 14 points and recording a game-high six assists on the night. Junior forward Jake Haslem tallied 11 points.
Erskine, which never trailed, took advantage of seven early AU turnovers to jump out to a 13-7 lead on a pair of free throws from Casey Sorrell with 15:43 left in the opening half. The Flying Fleet pushed out to an 11-point advantage two minutes later, before the Trojans rallied to trim the deficit to just 23-20 at the 7:41 mark. Senior forward Bo Holston sparked the surge with a jumper in the paint, while Gleaton capped the 11-3 run with another basket from close range.
But it was as close as the Trojans would get, as Erskine responded with 12 unanswered points to gain a 35-20 advantage with 4:10 on the clock.
Anderson trimmed the 40-28 halftime deficit to nine with more than 16 minutes left in the contest on a 3-pointer from Jones, however the Fleet again countered to quickly retake a double-digit lead and edged out to a 74-52 cushion with 6:46 remaining.
The Trojans held a 37-29 rebounding advantage, but committed 19 turnovers. Erskine shot nearly 51 percent from the field, including 40 percent (12-of-30) from beyond the arc.
Anderson continues its five-game homestand when defending Southeast Region champion Montevallo invades the Abney Center on Saturday. Tip-off versus the Falcons is slated for 6 p.m