Second-Half Surge Propels Trojans Past NewberryFebruary 1, 2014
AU Claims Sole Possession of Second Place in League Standings
NEWBERRY, S.C. – Paced by senior guard Chandler Hash’s game-high 33 points, the Anderson men’s basketball team opened a three-game South Atlantic Conference road swing by outdueling Newberry, 89-80, Saturday afternoon at Eleazer Arena.
Anderson (15-5, 10-4 SAC) claimed sole possession of second place in the league standings with its season-high sixth straight win and improved to 9-1 away from the Abney Center with its sixth straight road win. The Trojans swept the season series with Newberry (13-5, 9-5 SAC), which has dropped seven straight to Anderson.
The Trojan defense surrendered 18 treys to Newberry, marking the most by an AU opponent this season, but offset the long-range output by out-rebounding the Wolves, 50-33. Anderson shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59) from the field, while Newberry connected on 38 percent (27-of-71).
Hash drained a season-high seven 3-pointers as part of an overall 10-of-18 effort on the night, including 7-of-14 from beyond the arc. He was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line and recorded six rebounds. Senior guard CJ Gleaton notched his sixth double-double of the campaign with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while equaling a career-best five assists. Junior guard Myson Jones tallied nine points and a pair of assists, while redshirt junior Nick Jackson nearly posted his first double-double with nine points and a career-high nine boards off the bench.
Junior forward Dondray Walker led the Newberry attack with 20 points, while Demarkus Smith added 19 points and seven assists. Freshman guard Cole Birchfield netted 13 points for the Wolves.
“The kids definitely got it done tonight,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “I’m not sure why we came out slowly to start the second half, but they bucked up and got focused. To out-rebound a team like [Newberry] is a testament to our effort.”
The two teams opened the contest on a blistering pace, with Hash and Jones connecting on 4-of-5 treys inside the opening five minutes to offset Walker and Birchfield’s three 3-pointers in the opening minutes, as Anderson took a brief 13-12 edge on Hash’s third trey with 15:07 left in the first half.
Gleaton dropped in a pair of free throws and Hash followed with a 3-pointer to give the Trojans their largest lead of the opening 20 minutes, at 35-29, at the 6:11 mark, but Newberry countered with back-to-back treys from Smith followed by yet another 3-pointer from Walker, giving the Wolves a 38-35 edge less than two minutes later.
Hash and sophomore center Steven Faust combined for six straight Trojan points before Walker connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the opening half and the teams went to the locker rooms with the score deadlocked at 41-41.
The Wolves opened the second stanza with a 13-5 run to take their largest lead of the contest, 54-46, with less than 15 minutes remaining, but Anderson erupted on a 23-5 run over the next seven-plus minutes to turn the eight-point deficit into a double-digit lead. Gleaton ignited the outburst by hitting 5-of-6 from the line, while Hash added seven points and Jones netted five during the deciding run.
The Trojans pushed out to an 82-67 cushion with 2:16 left in the contest, with Newberry closing within nine on four occasions in the final moments. But AU connected on 7-of-10 from the line in the final 1:49 to keep the Wolves at bay.
Anderson continues the road swing by traveling to Greeneville, Tenn., on Wednesday as the Trojans square off against Tusculum for the first time this season. Tip-off versus the Pioneers is slated for 8 p.m.