Diaz Leads Trojans Past WingateJanuary 23, 2013
Anderson Moves into a Tie for First in the SAC
ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson senior guard Alissa Diaz scored a season-high 26 points to help lift Anderson past defending league champion Wingate, 62-46, in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (12-5, 6-1 SAC) moved into a tie for first place in the league standings by virtue of Lenoir-Rhyne’s 72-54 setback at Tusculum and claimed its first win past the Bulldogs in nine attempts. The Trojans won their fifth straight contest and 10th in their last 12 outings, while Wingate (9-8, 3-4 SAC), the preseason favorite to win the league title for the second straight year, has dropped two of its last three contests.
Diaz, the reigning South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week, added three assists and a pair of steals, while sophomore guard Sierra Simpson notched her first career double-double with 12 points, a career-high 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Senior forward Breonda Shannon recorded a game-high 11 rebounds, as Anderson out-rebounded the Bulldogs, 42-28.
Wingate freshman forward Morgan McGee and senior guard Sarah Wollett scored 13 points apiece, while junior guard Janitsha Williams added 11. Junior forward Chantal Dunbar grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
The Trojans trailed just once and opened a double-digit lead, 25-15, with eight unanswered points just past the midway point of the first half, as freshman forward Katie Davis sparked the run with a left-handed basket and Diaz added a pair of free throws with 9:33 left. Simpson and senior forward Tilde Ahlin eached added a jumper to cap the surge.
The Bulldogs countered with five unanswered points of their own as part of a 10-3 run over the next four minutes, trimming the Anderson advantage to just 28-25 with less than four minutes remaining in the half. But it was as close as Wingate would get, as the Trojans answered by closing the half with an 11-2 outburst and enjoyed their largest lead of the first half, 39-27, at the break.
AU quickly opened a pair of 14-point leads early in the second stanza, with the Bulldogs using a 9-2 run to climb within 45-38 on a traditional three-point play by McGee, but Ahlin hit a jumper from the right side to stop the run and Diaz followed with a three-point play to push Anderson’s lead back to double-digits with less than eight minutes left.
The Trojans open a two-game South Atlantic Conference homestand by visiting Brevard on Saturday. Tip-off versus the Tornados is slated for 2 p.m.
Anderson wraps up the first half of its conference slate by traveling to Lenoir-Rhyne on Wednesday. The Bears edged AU, 63-62, in early January.