Trojans Down Lander in Home Opener

ANDERSON, S.C. -- Anderson got its five-game homestand started on a strong note as sophomore guard Nick Trull scored 10 of his game-high 26 points and converted two traditional three-point plays inside the final four minutes, as the Trojan men's basketball team raced past Lander, 93-84, in non-conference play Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center. With the Trojans trailing 76-75 and 3:16 showing on the clock, Trull drove the lane and dropped in the basket while drawing the foul on Landerís Brenton Harris to give Anderson a lead it would not relinquish. His free throw boosted the Trojanís advantage to a deuce and AU was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe down the stretch as the Bearcats were forced to foul in the final moments. With the win, Anderson (2-0) stayed perfect on the young season, while Lander dropped its season-opener. ďIím very proud of our guys for finding a way to win the game,Ē said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. ďTo get out-rebounded like we did and still pull out a win means we must have had a good night offensively, but we still need to improve our defensive rebounding.Ē Neither team led by more than nine points in a contest that saw 12 ties and 13 lead changes. The Bearcats snapped a 10-10 tie and pushed out to a 16-10 lead early, but AU refused to go away and rallied behind a 12-3 run to reclaim a three-point edge midway through the opening half. The game was tied three more times over the next two minutes, but the Trojans eased out to the largest lead by either team at 42-33, on Oskars Ernsteinís 3-pointer with just more than four minutes left in the half. Junior Kevis Cornwell led the breakout by scoring five points, but Lander battled back by scoring the final four points of the half and trimmed the AU lead to 49-47 at the break. Landerís surge carried over into the second frame, as the Trojans committed a pair of turnovers and momentarily went cold from the field, allowing the visitors to claim a 60-55 advantage. But AU rallied again, as Cornwell scored four straight for the Trojans and back-to-back treys by Trull and Cornwell gave AU a brief 65-61 lead. The lead changed hands five times over the next four minutes of frantic action, leading to the final moments. Trailing, 74-72, AU sophomore Taylor Shugart came alive inside, scoring six points and grabbing three of his six rebounds in a three-minute span. In addition to Trullís effort off the bench, three other Trojans hit double-figures in the scoring column, with Cornwell adding 24 points on the strength of 10-of-13 from the field. Shugart connected on 6-of-7 for 12 points and junior Stephen Cobb tossed in 11 points. Junior guard Brandon Young handed out a game-high five assists. Landerís Harris notched a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 18 rebounds, with wing Darius Johnson netting 22 points on the afternoon. Anderson will get back on the court Tuesday when the Trojans open Conference Carolinasí action by playing host to Belmont Abbey in the second game of a womenís/menís doubleheader. Tip-off for the menís contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Abney Center. Game Stats
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