Freshman Taylor Shugart had 21 points
Freshman Taylor Shugart had 21 points

Trojans fall to conference leader Mount Olive

Anderson, S.C. - Kendrick Easley tallied 21 points and a season-high seven assists, while Craig Hayes scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half as conference leader Mount Olive broke open a close game for an 86-73 victory over Anderson in Conference Carolinas men’s basketball Saturday at The Abney Center in Anderson, S.C. Mount Olive built the lead to as many as 19 after Anderson tied the game early in the second half. The win is Mount Olive’s seventh in a row. Anderson has lost four of it's last five. Mount Olive (13-7 overall, 12-1 Conference Carolinas) tied the game 9-9 on Easley’s three-pointer with 16:30 left in the first half, but Anderson (10-11, 8-6) used a pair of baskets by Jarrett Johnson to cap a 6-0 run. Anderson led throughout much of the first half until Hayes hit a three with 9:14 remaining to tie the game 23-23. Nick Trull answered with a three-pointer for Anderson, but Kason Cheeks’ three-point play with 8:11 left put Mount Olive back on top 28-26, the visiting Trojans’ first lead since 6-4. Brandon Young hit a three on Anderson’s next possession and the lead would change hands five more times before the break. Hayes’ basket with 2:28 remaining broke a 37-37 tie and Justin Melton added a three-pointer as Mount Olive led 42-38 at halftime. Melton had 12 points in a first half that saw 12 lead changes and eight ties. Taylor Shugart scored Anderson’s first six points of the second half to force the ninth tie of the game at 44-44 with 17:54 left to play. Easley’s tip-in put Mount Olive back on top and Melton followed with a steal and fastbreak dunk as the visiting Trojans led the rest of the way. Mount Olive held a three-point lead when Easley and Aaron Dobson combined for all of the visiting Trojans’ points in a 12-2 run. Dobson’s second three-pointer gave Mount Olive a 62-49 advantage with 12:40 remaining. Anderson got as close as nine points, but Derek Staton pushed the lead back to double figures on a three-point play with 6:52 left and the margin never fell below 11 the remainder of the game. Three-pointers by Melton and Easley capped a 13-3 run and gave Mount Olive its biggest lead at 80-61 with 3:54 left in the game. Shugart shared game-high honors with 21 points for Anderson to go with seven rebounds. Kevin Cornwell added 11 points. Anderson returns to action Monday night as the Trojans look to complete the season sweep of rival Erskine, in Due West, SC. Game Stats

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