ANDERSON, S.C. – In a matchup featuring the last two unbeaten men’s basketball teams in South Atlantic Conference action, Anderson dropped a 66-55 decision to Wingate Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson slipped to 10-5 overall and 6-1 in the league, while Wingate (11-4, 7-0 SAC), the preseason favorite to win the league title, halted the Trojans’ win streak at four and claimed sole possession of first place in the league.
Anderson sophomore DJ McGowan scored 10 points and recorded a career-high eight rebounds, while guards Myson Jones and Chandler Hash also netted 10 points apiece. Junior forward Kyle Sledge tossed in eight points and pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds.
Wingate junior center Deion Turman notched a double-double with had 16 points and 14 rebounds, with senior guard Paidrick Matilus also posting 16 points on the night. Senior guard Ethan Kincaid chipped in 13 points and three assists and senior forward Odell Turner, a preseason first-team All-SAC selection, added 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Trojans misfired on their first three shots of the contest, as Wingate scored the first seven points of the game, before senior guard Denzail Jones and McGowan sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a short jumper by Turman, to pull AU within 9-6 with less than 16 minutes remaining in the opening half.
The Jones’ trey triggered a 19-8 run by the Trojans over the next nine minutes that saw Anderson garner a pair of four-point leads midway through the half on a 3-pointer and a long jumper from Hash. His trey from deep in the left corner gave AU its’ largest lead of the stanza, at 27-21, with 2:36 on the clock.
Kincaid closed the half with back-to back buckets to trim the Trojans lead to 28-25 at the break.
A 3-pointer by Bo Holston and a layup from McGowan at the 18:08 mark of the second half gave the Trojans a 33-27 edge, equaling their largest lead of the contest. But a layup by Turner with 13:47 remaining gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the second half, at 34-33.
Neither team was able to build more than a three-point lead over the next seven minutes until the Bulldogs snapped a 46-46 tie with a 10-2 run to take a lead they would not relinquish and connected on eight consecutive free throws in the final 45 seconds to hold off the Trojans down the stretch.
The Trojans open a two-game South Atlantic Conference road swing by visiting Brevard on Saturday. Tip-off versus the Tornados is slated for 4 p.m. at Boshamer Gymnasium.