Men's Basketball Faces Catawba in NCAA Opener

ANDERSON, S.C. - The No. five seed Anderson men's basketball team will make its debut in the Big Dance Saturday night by squaring off against fourth-seeded Catawba in the 2010 NCAA Southeast Regional hosted by Augusta State, with tip-off slated for 8:30 p.m. at ASU's Christenberry Fieldhouse. The 2009-10 Anderson men’s basketball season has been a memorable one for players, coaches and fans as the Trojans have continually raised the bar and set school records – getting off to the best start in school history since becoming a four-year institution and culminated in a school-record 23 wins. The Trojans also became the first team in school history to be ranked (25th), after its’ undefeated start. Despite mounting a furious rally in the final moments of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship, Catawba (20-10) dropped a 93-92 decision to Brevard after claiming the SAC regular-season championship, ironically, with a win over Brevard. The Indians are the fourth-seed in the regional and are making their fourth straight trip to the NCAA regionals and sixth in the last seven years. Catawba and Wingate (1999-02) are the only SAC men’s teams to make the regional four straight years. Anderson (23-7), making first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, ranked third in the Conference Carolinas in scoring for the second consecutive season. The Trojans poured in 86.3 points per contest, good enough to rank ninth in the nation. Anderson is 1-2 this season versus teams in the Southeast Regional – that would be fellow Conference Carolinas member Mount Olive. Anderson suffered a 77-65 setback at Mount Olive in early January, then became the lone Conference Carolinas team to defeat Mount Olive this season, 81-74, at home in early February. The two teams squared off again in the conference tournament championship, with Mount Olive claiming an 83-80 win in a roundball classic that was not decided until the final moments. After leading the Trojans to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in eight years guards Brandon Young and Tony Anderson were recognized as all-conference performers. Young was named to the first team after starting all 27 regular-season games for the Trojans. The 6-foot-2 playmaker leads the team in scoring, steals and assists and ranks fifth in the conference in assists and steals and 11th in scoring. A native of Belmont, N.C., Young ranks 57th in the nation in steals per game and led the Trojans in scoring on nine occasions, reaching double figures in 25 games, while reaching the 20-point plateau seven times and handed out at least 5 assists in 10 games. Young closed the season out with a streak of 18 consecutive double-figure scoring games. Anderson was selected to the third team following a regular season that saw the 5-foot-11 senior rank second on the team in scoring and 13th in the conference in scoring and 16th in steals. The Greenville, S.C., native led the team in scoring in seven games, with a season-high 32 points versus Belmont-Abbey. He reached double figures in 20 games, while reaching the 30-point plateau once and the 20-point level eight times, while averaging 20.2 points per game during a six-game stretch late in the season. Young entered the 2009-10 campaign 71 points shy of the 1,000 point plateau and became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the game versus North Greenville after joining the prestigious 1,000-point club earlier this season. Young became just the fourth player in the history of Anderson University men’s basketball to reach the milestone. Young and teammate Kevis Cornwell were also named to the 2010 Conference Carolinas All-Tournament Team after the Trojans advanced to the title game. The Southeast Regional consists of four sessions and includes seven games over a four-day stretch. Georgia College & State (22-5), the No. 3 seed, and sixth-seeded USC Aiken (19-10) will tip off quarterfinal play at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. At 2:30 p.m., second-seeded Mount Olive (25-5) and No. 7 Montevallo (23-7) will meet in the second game of session one. Augusta State, the Peach Belt Conference’s regular-season champion, is playing host to its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament this weekend and is making its sixth trip to the Big Dance in the last 10 years after finishing 26-3 heading into the tourney. The top-seeded Jaguars (26-3) and No. 8 Brevard (21-9) will tangle in the first game of the second session at 6 p.m. before No. 4 Catawba (20-10) and No. 5 seed Anderson (23-7) wrap up the first day’s play at 8:30 p.m. Anderson Tournament Media Guide Tournament Web Site
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