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Trojans Rally to Defeat Belmont Abbey in Overtime

ANDERSON, S.C. -- Junior Kevis Cornwell dropped in an acrobatic shot with 36.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give Anderson a lead it would not relinquish and Anderson went on to hold off Belmont Abbey, 96-92, in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action Tuesday night at the Abney Athletic Center. With the Trojans trailing, 92-91, senior guard Tony Anderson found Cornwell along the left baseline and the 6-foot-2 guard went airborne and connected on a twisting, turning shot as he fell to the court. As soon as the shot fell through, Trojans’ head coach Jason Taylor called an immediate timeout to set up the defense. Anderson’s Trey Britton collected Belmont Abbey forward Chad Patus’ miss on the other end and Anderson raced downcourt for a layup, drew the foul and drained the ensuing free throw to seal the win. With the win, Anderson improved to 3-0 to start the season for the first time in school history and moved to 1-0 in conference play, while the Crusaders fell to 2-1 and 0-1 in league action. “I’m really proud of the team for finding a way to win,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “A lot of guys stepped up and did a great job. Brandon [Young] showed tremendous leadership and Tony [Anderson] played within himself tonight. We made plays when we needed to.” Belmont Abbey shot a blistering 61.1 percent in the opening half to overcome an early Trojan lead and pushed out to a 25-13 advantage with 11:43 showing on the clock. But after the Crusaders gained the double-digit advantage, the contest became a game of scoring runs. The Trojans quickly trimmed the deficit to just five points, but Belmont Abbey countered with a 14-2 run of their own, edging out to the largest lead by either team at 39-22 at the 7:12 mark. But Anderson refused to surrender, mounting a furious comeback with Tony Anderson and Young each draining a 3-pointer down the stretch to whittle the deficit to just eight, 49-41, at the half. The game was tied five times in the second half, with neither team able to gain more than a five-point lead in the final 15 minutes of the second half. Anderson edged out to its largest lead of the game, 84-79, with less than two minutes left, but Patus scored five straight points for the Crusaders to knot the contest, but it was the shot he was unable to sink that gave AU new life. The 6-foot-7 senior connected on the first of two free throws with 29.5 seconds on the clock, but misfired on the second. Cornwell grabbed the rebound and AU held for the final shot, but Tony Anderson’s driving attempt at the buzzer was off the mark, setting up the heroics in the final moments. Tony Anderson led all scorers with 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting on the night. Trey Britton notched his first career double-double, adding 16 points and collecting 10 rebounds. Junior Brandon Young netted 15 points, while Nick Trull chipped in 12 points. The Trojans get back into action on Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the third game of a season-high five-game homestand when they welcome South Atlantic Conference opponent Mars Hill to the Abney Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Game Stats
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