MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Senior guard CJ Gleaton’s career-high 27 points lifted the Anderson men’s basketball team to a 74-66 win past Peach Belt Conference-foe Georgia College Monday night at the Centennial Center.
Anderson (7-2) opened a stretch of three consecutive nonconference contests by claiming its second win in the last three outings, while earning its third win of the season past a PBC opponent. The Trojans also won their second straight over Georgia College, which fell to 3-4 with its third consecutive loss.
Gleaton posted his career high on the strength of 8-of-14 shooting from the field and a 10-of-12 effort from the free throw line. He equaled a career high with 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double and third of the season. Senior Chandler Hash scored 13 points and needs just 21 points to become just the 11th player in Anderson’s storied athletic history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his career. Redshirt freshman guard Lex Davis notched as career-high 10 points in just 18 minutes of action off the bench.
Georgia College guard Ryan Blumenthal led three Bobcats in double figures with 13 points, while guard Terrell Harris and forward Larrentis Harris added 12 points apiece, with Thomas recording a game-high 15 rebounds.
Gleaton scored seven of Anderson’s first nine points, as the Trojans crept out to a 9-0 lead to start the contest. But AU was unable to capitalize on the Bobcats’ slow start by connecting on just 5-of-17 from the field, including 1-of-7 from long range.
The Anderson defense held the Bobcats scoreless for nearly seven minutes to start the game, but Georgia College countered the Trojans’ nine unanswered points with a 10-0 outburst of its own, taking its first lead of the contest, at 10-9 on a putback by Thomas midway through the opening half.
There were six lead changes over the next six minutes, with neither team able to build more than a five-point advantage over the final four minutes of the frame. Following a layup by GC’s Jeremy Newsome that gave the Bobcats a 27-22 lead, AU guard Myson Jones set the halftime score at 27-24 with a layup of his own just before the buzzer.
The Bobcats pushed out to their largest lead of the game, 32-26, on Blumenthal’s second 3-pointer of the night, but senior forward Kyle Sledge and guard DJ McGowan combined for three free throws, while Hash connected on his first basket of the night – a trey – that evened the score for the fourth time of the contest, at 32 apiece, with 16:42 remaining.
A pair of free throws from Davis with 11:39 on the clock gave the Trojans their first lead (45-44) since the 4:40 mark of the first half, but it was short-lived as Blumenthal answered on the other end with yet another trey. Hash countered with a 3-pointer and followed a Thomas layup with three consecutive free throws to give the Trojans a 51-49 edge and a lead they would not relinquish.
Following a pair of free throws from Thomas that trimmed the AU lead to just one with more than seven minutes left, Sledge dropped in a layup that triggered a 14-3 run by the Trojans that saw Davis give AU a double-digit lead, at 64-54, with a deep trey from the left corner.
The Trojans steadily built a 16-point cushion inside the final minute, as they connected on 6-of-9 from the line down the stretch to hold off the Bobcats.
Anderson will look to improve to 5-0 in nonconference games this season as the Trojans play host to Young Harris on Thursday. Tip-off versus the Mountain Lions at the Abney Athletic Center is slated for 7 p.m.