Trojans' season ends in Wilson, NC as Conference Carolinas regular seson champs Barton topple AU 88-69


WILSON, NC--It would be easy to tell the AU Trojans mens basketball team that having the program's first winning season in seven years was a moral victory, but in their minds, losing to Conference Carolinas regular season champion Barton Bulldogs in the Semi-Final was not an option. The young up-start Trojans, who battled their way to a .500 record last year in conference play, competed this 08-09 season with one senior on the roster, and only underclassmen starting the majority of the season. The Trojans bounced back time and time again this year, bludgeoning their way to a 12-8 conference record and a 14-13 overall record. At the Abney Center in January, AU took the 07 national champ Bulldogs to the wire, only to lose a late lead and fall by 7. "Hey, we know we can play with the best," said assistant coach Will Monts after the early seson fixture. The Trojans did just that all seson long. But on Thursday night, the experienced Barton Bulldogs ended a fantastic run, as the Trojans fell 88-69 in Wilson, NC, losing a shot at a Conference Carolinas title and a bid to the NCAA Division II tournament. Bobby Buffaloe had a game high 26 on 8-13 shooting. The story of the night was turnovers, as the full court pressure of the Bulldogs proved to be too much. The Trojans turned the ball over 24 times and only manufactured 8 assists. Anderson fought back to within 5 at the half, but the Bulldogs owned the second half. Erskine upset Belmont Abbey, and the Trojans could have won and hosted the Conference Carolinas final; but being bitter about that would be as easy as calling the season a moral victory. One thing is certain: the ceiling for this team is very high. With the Trojans returning all starters, there is a very good chance the Conference Carolinas Champion will have to win in the Abney Center next year
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