Shugart leads Trojans Past Coker

ANDERSON, S.C. -- Paced by sophomore Taylor Shugart's double-double, the Anderson men's basketball team defeated Coker, 89-81, in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action Thursday night at the Abney Athletic Center. The 6-foot-7 center scored 21 points and recorded a game-high 11 rebounds, while teammate Tony Anderson scored two rare four-point plays as the Trojans wrapped up their three-game homestand by winning two of their last three and improved to 9-2 at home. Anderson improved to 15-6 overall and 9-6 in the conference, while the Cobras suffered their second straight setback, falling to 9-12 and 6-9 in the league. The last time these two teams met, junior guard Oskars Ernsteins hit two free throws with two seconds on the clock to lift Anderson to a 79-77 win, but tonight didn’t require any last-second heroics. Anderson, which trailed just twice in the contest, used four consecutive 3-pointers to push out to a 31-23 advantage with 7:37 left in the opening half, but a scoring drought by the Trojans enabled the Cobras to post a brief 6-0 run over the next five minutes and climb within three, 32-29, at the 2:49 mark. But the Trojans closed out the half by pushing back out to a nine-point lead, equaling its largest of the opening 20 minutes of action and settling for a 40-32 halftime cushion. Shugart sparked the surge with his ninth point of the half and junior Trey Britton added four points from the free throw line during the run. Junior guard Brandon Young connected on two from the line and his steal and layup at the buzzer set the 40-32 halftime score. The AU run carried over into the second half, as the Trojans claimed their largest lead of the night, 45-35, on a 3-pointer from junior forward Stephen Cobb. But the Cobras refused to surrender, trimming the Anderson lead to a single point on three occasions before taking their first lead since the opening minute of the contest, 72-71, with under five minutes remaining. The Coker lead was short-lived however as Anderson regained the advantage with a lead it would not relinquish on back-to back 3s by Tony Anderson. The Greenville, S.C. native notched the second of his four-point plays on the night with 54 seconds left, giving AU an 83-77 lead. In addition to Shugart’s stellar outing, Tony Anderson added 20 points while Cobb netted 11 points, with Young and Kevis Cornwell each tossing in 10 points. Guard Nick Trull came off the bench and handed out a team-high five assists. “We were fortunate to get the win tonight,” Anderson head coach Jason Taylor said. “We took good shots and had one of our best offensive games.” Anderson opens a three-game conference road swing on Saturday at St. Andrews, with tip-off versus the Knights scheduled for 4 p.m. Box Score
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