Holston Leads Trojans Past Lenoir-Rhyne

Jones Reaches 1,000 Career Point Mark in Second Half

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson forward Bo Holston scored a career-high 20 points to help lead the Anderson men’s basketball team past Lenoir-Rhyne, 69-65, in the South Atlantic Conference opener for both teams Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.  

Anderson (3-1, 1-0 SAC) claimed its third consecutive victory and 16th game in the last 19 outings dating back to last February, while winning its fifth consecutive game past the Bears. Lenoir-Rhyne slipped to 4-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference, while suffering its first setback of the season.

Offensive board work propelled Lenoir-Rhyne to an early 6-2 lead, as the Bears capitalized on a pair of offensive rebounds and putbacks in their first three possessions, while Anderson junior guard Chandler Hash’s steal and layup cut the L-R lead to 6-4.

Holston connected on a pair of free throws, then dropped in a layup off a steal by senior guard Jones and an assist gave AU its first lead at 8-6, with 15:41 on the clock. But the advantage was short-lived, as Lenoir-Rhyne countered with nine unanswered points on the strength of three consecutive 3-pointers, as R.J. McClure connected on back-to-back 3-pointers from the right side to regain a 12-8 for the Bears, then drained his third consecutive trey to boost Lenoir-Rhyne’s lead to seven.

Holston snapped the run with an inside basket off a move along the right baseline and following a jumper from the Bears’ B.J. Beasley, AU’s Kyle Sledge and Chris Ross dropped in consecutive layups to get Anderson within 17-14.

With AU coming off a seven-day layoff and the Bears having not played since Nov. 17, the two teams struggled offensively at times, combining to commit 18 turnovers in the first 15 minutes of play.

Anderson stayed close, with Holston’s traditional three-point play with 4:45 left in the half again getting the Trojans within three, at 21-18, but McClure’s rare four-point play gave Lenoir-Rhyne a 27-20 lead with 3:51 on the clock. The junior from Canton. N.C., had 15 first-half points on the strength of 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, while Holston had 13 points in the opening half, connecting on seven consecutive free throws.
Trailing by the seven-point margin, Anderson closed the half on a 6-2 run, setting the halftime deficit at 29-26.

The second half featured five ties and seven lead changes, with Hash knocking down Anderson’s first 3-pointer of the game from the left corner to tie the game for the third time of the night with 19 minutes left in the contest. After McClure countered with a driving layup, Jones followed with deep 3-pointer from left wing to give the Trojans a 32-31 edge and their first lead since the 15:41 mark of the opening half.

Jones scored his 1,000th career point with a 15-foot jumper from the right side with 15:20 remaining that trimmed the L-R lead to 39-38, with neither team able to build more than a six-point lead through the remainder of the contest.

Hash’s traditional three-point play with just more than four minutes left gave the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish, at 63-61.

Holston added four rebounds and a pair of assists to his career-scoring effort, while Jones added 15 points and four assists. Hash finished with 12 points on the night.

The Trojans shot a season-high 62.5 percent from the field, including an impressive 77 percent (17-of-22) in the second half, and held a 22-20 rebounding edge.

McClure scored a career-high 26 points, hitting six three-pointers in the loss. Sophomore guard Denzel Dillingham tallied 19 points for the Bears.

The Trojans wrap up the homestand as Catawba invades the Abney Center on Saturday, with tip-off slated for 4 p.m. versus the Indians. Anderson swept the 2011-12 season series with the Indians, downing Catawba, 75-65, on the road and earning a 95-65 victory at the Abney Center.

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