Trojans Top Columbus State

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- In the midst of its season-high five-game road stretch and for the second straight contest, the Anderson men's basketball team used torrid long-range shooting as the Trojans outpaced Columbus State, 80-68, in non-conference play Friday night at the Lumpkin Center. Anderson (7-1) stayed perfect on the season versus Peach Belt opponents, having already defeated Lander and North Georgia, and extended its win streak to three games, while Columbus State, owners of a win past then third-ranked Valdosta State in early December, fell to 4-3 on the season. “We played hard and everyone played well,” Anderson head coach Jason Taylor said. “The difference was that we rebounded well in the second half. We were fortunate to get a win on the road.” Anderson shot a blistering 60 percent (6-10) of its three-pointers in the first half and carried a 29-28 lead into bhalftime. The Trojans took leads of seven points on two occasions in the final eight minutes of the opening half, the first coming at the 7:35 mark on a Taylor Shugart jumper. After the Cougars scored five unanswered points, Oskars Ernsteins drilled a three-pointer and Brandon Young followed with a layup to put AU back up 26-19 with 4:33 on the clock. CSU trimmed the AU lead to 26-24 at the 3:37 mark, but Nick Trull hit another triple from the perimeter to put the Trojans back up by five, but the Cougars scored the last four points of the half to trail by just one at the break. Leading by two early in thet second stanza, Tony Anderson hit the first 3-pointer of the half for the Trojans at the 18:17 mark to put the Trojans up by five. He drained a second one just over a minute later to push the lead to eight points at 40-32. AU gained an 11-point cushion, 51-40, with 12:44 to play in taking its biggest lead of the game to that point. CSU refused to go away, however, and climbed back to within 51-47 midway through the half, but that would prove to be as close as the Cougars could get. The Trojans responded with a 10-4 run over the next two minutes. Brandon Young's layup with 8:29 left made it 61-51. Four Trojans hit double figures in the scoring column, led by Tony Anderson’s game-high 20 points. Brandon Young added 16 points and shared team-high assist honors with teammate Kevis Cornwell, as each handed out five on the night. Oskars Ernsteins netted 14 points and Nick Trull chipped in 12 points. Cornwell also collected a team-best eight rebounds on the night. Anderson shot 43 percent overall from the floor, going 15-of-39 inside the arc and 12-24 from beyond the arc. The Trojans hit 14 of 21 free throws and committed 14 turnovers. Following a two-week break for Christmas, the Trojans get back into Conference Carolinas action on Monday, Jan. 4, when Anderson visits Lees-McRae. Tip-off at Williams Gym is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.in the second game of a women’s-men’s doubleheader.
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