Trojans Roll Past Lees-McRae

ANDERSON, S.C. -- Using an late first-half offensive surge that carried over into the second half, the Anderson men's basketball team rolled to its 20th win of the season, as the Trojans defeated Lees-McRae, 92-71, in Conference Carolinas action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center. Anderson (20-6, 13-6 Conference Carolinas) has won six in row and seven of its last eight as the Trojans, who were ranked seventh in the latest NCAA Southeast Region Poll, continued to add to their school-record win total. Lees-McRae (3-23, 2-17 CC) suffered its sixth consecutive setback, with the Bobcats dropping 12 of their last 13 contests. The first half featured three ties and two lead changes as both teams traded baskets through the opening 14 minutes of action with neither squad able to gain more than a five-point advantage. Guard Oskars Ernsteins’ 3-pointer from deep in the left corner with 7:08 left in the opening half gave the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish, with AU edging out to a nine-point cushion over the next four minutes. But the Bobcats chipped away with a 7-2 run and trimmed Anderson’s lead to just 33-29 inside the final minute on a basket from Adam McFerran. On the other end, Anderson’s Brandon Young answered with a buzzer-beating trey to set the 36-29 halftime margin. Lees-McRae scored the first basket of the second half, but Anderson’s offensive momentum carried over into the second half as the Trojans went on a 12-2 run to build a pair of 15-point leads early in the half. The double-digit cushion held strong for the rest of the game with the lead growing to 83-55 late in the contest. , but the Eagles chipped away at the deficit and eventually took the lead back with 46 seconds remaining in the half. Ernsteins and Taylor Shugart each scored 14 points, while Shugart recorded a game-high six rebounds on the night. Brandon Young added 12 points along with Trey Britton and Nick Trull came off the bench to net 10 points with Young dishing out a game-high five assists. Lees-McRae’s McFerran scored a game-high 28 points with the Bobcats’ Jeramaiah Henry adding nine points on the night. Anderson will close out the regular season on Saturday when the Trojans play host to Pfeiffer as AU battles for position in the Conference Carolinas tournament that gets underway on Tuesday. Anderson is already assured of hosting at least a first-round contest on Tuesday at 7 p.m., but the opponent and seedings will not be determined until the games are wrapped up Saturday night. Box Score
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