Anderson Hangs On To Beat Mars Hill, 65-64

ANDERSON, S.C. – Walt Baxley couldn’t do it a second time for Mars Hill. Baxley, who beat Anderson University with a buzzer beater on Nov. 21, tried to duplicate the feat Monday night. But Baxley’s his 17-foot shot with two seconds remaining bounced away, allowing Anderson to hang on for a 65-64 non-conference victory over Mars Hill at the Abney Center. Anderson snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 2-6. Mars Hill now stands at 5-6. Baxley led all scorers with 26 points, 19 in the second half. Anderson placed four players in double figures. Kris Fudzinskas led the Trojans with 17 points. He was followed by John LeSueur with 13 points and J.R. Howell and Alfred Boykin with 11 points apiece. Jamison McIver was the only other Mars Hill player in double figures with 12. Anderson jumped out to a 19-5 lead in the first five and a half minutes, but Mars Hill bounced back with an 18-4 run to tie the game at 23 with 4:27 remaining in the half. The visiting Lions did not score a field goal in the final four minutes of the first half and that drought allowed the Trojans to take a 26-26 lead at the break. The second half featured 10 ties and eight lead changes. There were three lead changes and one tie in the final two minutes. Mars Hill scored six straight points on baskets by Chris Aline, Tony Blake, and Elliot McDowell to take a 51-45 lead with 6:53 remaining. But the Trojans bounced back with a 9-3 run to tie the game at 54 with four minutes to play. Fudzinskas scored four points and LeSueur contributed a 3-point goal to the run. After two more ties, Howell canned a 3-pointer to give Anderson a 61-60 lead with 2:01 left. Baxley scored to give the Lions a 62-61 lead with 1:28 left, but another trey by LeSueur put the Trojans up 64-62 with 51 seconds left. James Hippolyte scored on a putback for the Lions to tie the game at 64 before Boykin made one of two free throws to put the Trojans back in front 65-64 and set the stage for the final sequence. Anderson shot 52 percent in the second half to finish the game at 48 percent, while Mars Hill shot 55 percent in the second half to finish the game at 43 percent. Boykin was the game’s leading rebounder with eight, but Mars Hill dominated the glass, 38-27. Anderson had 19 assists on 26 field goals. LeSueur and O’Tey Sellers had five assists apiece for the Trojans. Both teams committed just 10 turnovers. Anderson’s next action is Thursday at home against CVAC foe Belmont Abbey.
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