Trio of Guards Leads Anderson Past Pfeiffer

MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Anderson used a first-half run to gain the lead and raced past Pfeiffer, 112-108, moving into a tie with Barton for second place in the league in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action Monday night at Merner Gym. Both teams entered in a tie for third with identical 6-3 records in the conference and with the Trojans’ win and Barton’s loss, AU moved just behind league-leading Mount Olive. Anderson (13-3, 7-3 Conference Carolinas) has won five straight and snapped Pfeiffer’s four-game win streak. Pfeiffer jumped out to an early 10-4 lead, but the Trojans answered with a 22-5 run over a six-minute span to gain an 11-point lead, their largest of the opening half, with 12:07 on the clock. Nick Trull ignited the first-half rally that saw Trey Britton grab a miss by guard Tony Anderson and stick it back while drawing a foul on Pfeiffer’s Reggie Hollinger. Britton then followed up by draining the free throw to give the Trojans their first lead of the contest, 14-13, at the 14:28 mark. Less than a minute later, Tony Anderson helped AU take control as the 5-foot-11 guard swiped the ball and drove in for a layup and recorded a traditional three-point play of his own to boost the lead to 17-13. Anderson followed by recording another steal and 15 seconds later, teammate Stephen Cobb found him open for a 3-pointer, forcing the Pfeiffer bench to call for a timeout. The break led to a Falcon basket, but Anderson continued his hot hand, draining another 3 to move AU ahead 23-15. Guard Oskars Ernsteins then nailed one of his two first-half treys and AU held the 26-15 cushion. Anderson’s 52-46 halftime lead held strong for the majority of the final half, until sophomore Taylor Shugart scored five unanswered points for the Trojans midway through the frame to give Anderson its largest cushion at 74-60. The Falcons pulled within 95-91 inside the four-minute mark and within three inside the final 10 seconds but were unable to get any closer as Tony Anderson connected on two free throws and Taylor Shugart sandwiched two huge defensive rebounds around an Ernsteins 3- pointer at the 3:12 mark. Ernsteins then clinched the final margin with two free throws and 5.1 seconds remaining. “This was a hard-earned win and we’re going to enjoy it,” Anderson head coach Jason Taylor said. “We still need to keep improving but I couldn’t love a group of guys any more than these players.” Tony Anderson paced the Trojans with 28 points, while Brandon Young added 25 points and Nick Trull recorded a double-double with 23 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Young also dished out a team-high five assists. Ernsteins chipped in 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Anderson gets back into action on Thursday when the Trojans visit Belmont Abbey. Tip-off versus the Crusaders is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler Center. Box Score
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