Britton and Young Lead Trojans Past Barton

ANDERSON, S.C. -- Behind season-highs in scoring and rebounding from a pair of juniors, the third-seeded Anderson men's basketball team opened the first-round of the Conference Carolinas' basketball tournament with a convincing, 93-73, win past No. six seed Barton Tuesday night at the Abney Athletic Center. Playing without the services of 6-foot-7 sophomore center Taylor Shugart, Anderson (22-6) saw junior forward Trey Britton work the boards for a season-high 17 rebounds and teammate Brandon Young pour in 25 points on the strength of 11-of-13 shooting from the free throw line. Anderson, ranked seventh in the NCAA’s Southeast region as of last week, is peaking at the right time, having won eight in a row and nine of its last 10 contests, while Barton’s ends with a 14-14 record overall. Young scored 14 of his game-high tally inside the final 11 minutes of the contest, with the 6-foot-2 playmaker tying the score for just the third time of the night on a old-fashioned three-point play and following a free throw on the other end, his driving layup gave the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish. Young triggered a 14-3 outburst that was capped when guard Nick Trull buried a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to give Anderson a double-digit advantage, 72-62, with 7:50 left in the contest. Barton climbed back within 73-69 on a basket by Jarrett Jernigan and two free throws from Eddie Kershaw with more than six minutes on the clock, but back-to-back 3s, first from Trull then by Oskars Ernsteins pushed the lead back to 10 and the Trojans were a perfect 9-of-9 from the charity stripe down the stretch to hold off the visitors. The opening moments of the game saw three lead changes, with three consecutive 3s extending Anderson’s lead to 16-10, but the Bulldogs stayed within striking distance behind their inside strength until the Trojans went on a 17-4 run behind 58.8 percent shooting to open the largest lead of the contest at 29-12 midway through the opening half. But the Bulldogs battled back with a 13-0 run of their own, eventually pulling within three points on a pair of occasions and 40-38 on a basket and free throw from senior Charles Gamble with just over a minute remaining before halftime. However Ernsteins connected on a trey from the left corner and Kevis Cornwell worked his way through the lane for a leaner in the lane just before the buzzer to give AU a 45-38 halftime cushion. The two teams battled on even terms through the first four minutes of the second half, before Barton score nine unanswered points to trim AU’s lead to just one. But Tony Anderson countered with two from the line, setting up the final 11 minutes of action. Young’s 25 points led all scorers, with 18 coming in the decisive second half. Ernsteins added 16, with Cornwell and Trull each netting 14 points. Gerald Boston led the Bulldogs with 18 points and Jernigan chipped in 10 points on the night. Anderson moves on to face No. 7 seed Belmont Abbey in Friday’s semifinal round and will be looking for its second win against the Crusaders during this record-setting campaign, as AU and the Abbey split the regular-season contests. The Crusaders upset second-seeded Limestone, 79-64, in other quarterfinal action around the league tonight. Tip-off versus Belmont Abbey is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Abney Center. Box Score
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