Women's Basketball Knocks off Newberry, 87-55December 7, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – Led by a career-high 15 points from sophomore Madison Floyd, Anderson University women’s basketball avoided a three-game losing streak and defeated preseason South Atlantic Conference favorite Newberry 87-55 Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
As every player who dressed for the Trojans recorded more than 13 minutes on the afternoon, Floyd shined going 3-for-5 from 3-point range and 4-of-4 from the line en route to her game-high 15 points, the most of her career since scoring 11 against Erskine a season ago. Following the sophomore was junior Lesley Woods who was 3-of-7 from behind the arc for 13 points and sophomore Katie Davis who scored in double figures for the first time since AU’s 61-55 win over Winston-Salem State on Nov. 14, finishing with 12.
Freshman Alexis Dillard posted her career-low in points with two, but recorded a team-high nine rebounds, accumulating seven in the opening half. As the Trojans out-rebounded Newberry 45-40, all but one player on the Anderson roster recorded at least one rebound for the game.
“I was really pleased with our effort and execution today against a very good conference opponent,” head coach Jimmy Garrity said. “Our players did a great job in executing the game plan and this may have been out most complete game of the season.”
As Newberry jumped out to a quick 7-4 lead just after the first media timeout, the Trojans fired back with an 8-0 run and grabbed a lead they would never give up for the rest of the game. The spurt was started by back-to-back jumpers from freshman guard Heather Jankowy and sophomore Jennifer Monroe.
As the teams traded buckets in the middle of the half with AU consistency carrying a small advantage, Woods put Anderson ahead by 10 with one of her three 3-pointers of the contest, bringing the score to 23-13 with 6:29 left in the period.
After Davis dropped in a lay-up with 5:37 left, the Trojan attack came alive as they would eventually close out the remainder of the period on a 15-4 run, headlined by two 3-point baskets from Floyd to give her 12 for the opening 20 minutes. A late Newberry lay-in would send the game into halftime with the score 41-18, marking the first time this season Anderson has held a team under 20 in the first half.
In the final half, Anderson continued to add to its lead, eventually going up by 31 with 11:41 left in the game when Floyd connected on a corner trey. For the game, Floyd would set new season-highs in points, field goals made, 3-point field goals made and steals (2).
The Trojans would take their biggest lead of the game when Woods dropped in a 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining in the contest, bringing the score to 79-44.
The win also hands AU a two-game winning streak over the Wolves, as the Trojans eliminated Newberry from the postseason in the 2013 Food Lion SAC Tournament en route to its first SAC Tournament championship with a 73-62 victory in the semifinals. Anderson now holds a 5-3 record against NC in the all-time series since the Trojans joined the league in 2010.
For the game, the AU defense forced 22 turnovers and held SAC first-team selection and Division II Bulletin All-American Haylee Lepaio to just 12 points, as she accounted for just fewer than 22 percent of Newberry’s scoring. The Wolves were led by senior Tasia Holdorf with 14 points and junior Zara Pearson who matched Lepaio’s 12.
“Our defense was fantastic, especially in the first half,” Garrity said. “We took more 3-pointers than I would have liked, but was pleased that they all came within our offense and transitional game.”
Junior Sierra Simpson, who is just one of five players in the conference to rank in the top 25 in points, rebounds and assists, closed the game with seven points, five rebounds and nine assists, missing her season-high mark of assists by two.
Anderson will step away from its SAC schedule once again and play a midseason exhibition at Division I and Big South Conference power Liberty on Thursday. Tip-off from Lynchburg, Va. is set for noon.