Men's Basketball Overpowers Lees-McRae

BANNER ELK, N.C. -- Anderson's combination of Taylor Shugart and Nick Trull combined for 33 points, including 26 in the first half, as the Anderson men's basketball team resumed its winning ways by going on the road to knock off Lees-McRae, 85-53, in Conference Carolinas action Monday night at Williams Gymnasium. Anderson (8-1, 2-1 Conference Carolinas) showed no ills effects of a 17-day layoff as the Trojans handed the Bobcats their second loss in three contests and stretched their own win streak to four games. Lees-McRae fell to 1-8 overall and 0-3 in league action, while playing just their second home contest of the season and first since defeating Montreat, 81-66, back on Dec. 12. The Trojans’ defense held the homestanding Bobcats scoreless for nearly four minutes to open the contest, as Lees-McRae came up empty on its first five possessions while AU jumped out to an early 7-1 lead. Trull’s first of four 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes gave Anderson a 12-3 cushion at the 12:19 mark of the opening half, but the Bobcats trimmed the AU lead to 16-12 four minutes later on a bucket by junior Jeremy Helms. But it was as close as the Bobcats would get as Trull, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, answered by exploding for three consecutive treys and Kevis Cornwell capped the 11-0 run to give AU a 27-12 margin with just under six minutes left before halftime. The lead grew to as much as 36 with 7:57 remaining in the game after Oskars Ernsteins converted his fourth 3-pointer of the game. Anderson held a 38-32 edge on the glass, while the Trojans’ bench outscored Lees-McRae’s reserves, 48-24. Anderson also forced 17 turnovers and scored 11 points off those turnovers. Shugart led the way for AU with 19 points and shared game-high rebounding honors with teammate Trey Britton, as each collected six boards. Trull and Oskars Ernsteins each tallied 14 points, while Brandon Young handed out a game-high seven assists and committed no turnovers. Junior Stephen Cobb returned to action after missing five games with an injury, scoring nine points in 10 minutes on the hardwood. “This is always a tough trip to make,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “So it’s good to get the win. Brandon [Young] had a great game and Nick [Trull] really got us going off the bench. Taylor has been doing what he does best – catch and finish.” The Trojans travel to Mount Olive on Saturday in another Conference Carolinas matchup in the fourth game of their season-high five-game road swing. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena. Game Stats
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