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Trojans Fall at Lenoir-Rhyne

Box Score

HICKORY, N.C. – The Anderson men’s basketball team wrapped up the first half of its South Atlantic Conference schedule with a 75-58 road setback to Lenoir-Rhyne Wednesday night at Shuford Gymnasium.  

Anderson (11-6, 7-2 SAC) was unable to keep pace with league front-runners Wingate and Lincoln Memorial and slipped into third place in the conference standings. Lenoir-Rhyne improved to 13-4 overall and 6-3 in the conference by earning a split of the regular-season series. The Bears won their third straight contest and are 9-3 since dropping their conference opener to Anderson in late November
 
Lenoir-Rhyne scored the first 10 points of the game and never trailed throughout the contest, as junior guard Mark Terrell sandwiched a pair of layups around back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore guard Denzail Dillingham.

Anderson, which was without the services of reigning SAC Player of the Year, Denzail Jones, for the second consecutive contest, responded with seven unanswered points of its own. Junior guard Chandler Hash opened the Trojan scoring with a 3-pointer and added two free throws following a layup by junior forward Kyle Sledge.

The Bears’ B.J. Beasley added a pair of free throws from the line and Dillingham added another trey to push L-R’s edge back to 15-7 with 14:00 left in the opening half. But again the Trojans inched back, countering with a 9-2 run to get within 17-16 midway through the half. Sophomore guard Myson Jones fueled the run with five of his seven first-half points. 

But Lenoir-Rhyne answered with a 15-5 run of its own to gain their largest lead of the first half, at 32-21, with 3:04 remaining and took a 34-27 lead to intermission.

The Trojans trimmed the deficit to 34-32 on a Hash jumper and another trey from Jones, but the Bears quickly answered with a 3-pointer from Dillingham and a traditional three-point play by Beasley.

AU again trimmed Lenoir-Rhyne’s lead to just 42-40 with 15:01 remaining and again pulled within two at the 10:23 mark on a jumper by forward Bo Holston, but was unable to overtake the Bears.

Hash and Jones each tallied 14 points for the Trojans, with Jones adding a team-high five assists. Holston netted 13 points and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.

Dillingham led all scorers with 30 points on 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, while R.J. McClure added 13 points and Beasley notched 10 points. Jarvis Perry handed out a game-high 10 assists. 

Anderson starts the second half of the South Atlantic Conference schedule by playing host to Mars Hill on Saturday, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday’s contest marks the first meeting of the season between the Trojans and Lions. 

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