Trojans Fall to 4th-Ranked Jaguars

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The No. 5 seeded Anderson men's basketball team's bid to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history fell just shy as the Trojans fell, 100-70, to top-seeded and nationally fourth-ranked Augusta State in semifinal round action of the 2010 NCAA Southeast Regional hosted by Augusta State at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Augusta State’s Ben Madgen paced all scorers with 24 points and Daniel Dixon added 23, with Fred Brathwaite scoring 19. Junior guard Kevis Cornwell led the Trojans with 17 points, including 13 in the opening half, while Tony Anderson netted 15 and Trey Britton chipped in 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Anderson (24-8) won 10 of its last 11 games as the Trojans posted the most wins since becoming a four-year institution in the mid-90s and earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament while Augusta State (27-3), the Peach Belt Conference’s regular-season champion, is in its sixth trip to the Big Dance in the last 10 years. Augusta State moves on to the round of 16 to face seventh-seeded Montevallo in Tuesday’s regional championship contest. Augusta State took an early lead just 10 seconds into the game on two free throws by Alex Smith, but Trey Britton answered on the other end by connecting on one-of-two from the line less than a minute later. The Trojans were whistled for four fouls inside the first three minutes of action and struggled to get untracked on the offensive end against the Jaguars’ zone, but each time ASU opened a six-point lead, the Trojans countered with a basket on the other end. The Jags opened their largest lead of the opening minutes, 18-9, when senior Dan Dixon hit a 3-ponter from the left wing, but AU responded by reeling off eight unanswered points, first on a slam from Taylor Shugart, then Tony Anderson worked free for a layup and Kevis Cornwell nailed a runner in the lane with Stephen Cobb capping the run with an inside layup to pull AU within just a point at 18-17 at the 11:25 mark. The Trojans were unable to gain the lead, however and Augusta State built a pair of double-digit leads late in the frame by getting hot from beyond the arc, hitting on 7-of- 10 from long range. The double-digit deficit held up for the remainder of the rest of half, with Augusta State holding a 45-35 lead at the break. For the second time in as many games, Anderson encountered an opponent with uncanny accuracy from the field, as the homestanding Jags shot 62.5 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, while the Trojans connected on 15-of-33 from the field, but struggled to find the range from beyond the arc, connecting on just 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Anderson pulled within 47-39 on a putback from Britton early in the second stanza and again as close as eight on Tony Anderson’s 3 with 13:47 left, but could get no closer as the Jaguars pushed out to a 61-47 advantage on Fred Brathwaite’s old-fashioned three-point play.
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