ANDERSON, S.C. – With three players in double figures, the Anderson men’s basketball team wrapped up its nonconference slate by outpacing Winston-Salem State, 76-71, Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
“We beat a very talented and well-coached team,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “I am proud of our guys and the way everyone contributed. We still need to work on our ball security, but we made shots tonight. I am happy for our guys as we head into the break. ”
Anderson (8-3) has won three of its last four and finished its nonconference schedule with a stellar 5-1 mark, while Winston-Salem State (5-5) has dropped two straight following a three-game win streak.
Senior Chandler Hash led all scorers with 27 points, including 19 in the second half, to become just the 11th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his career. The 6-foot guard was 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Junior guard Myson Jones tallied 12 points and shared game-high honors with four assists. Despite being hampered by foul trouble, junior center Chris Ross added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 22 minutes of action. Senior guard CJ Gleaton overcame foul trouble as well, notching eight points in 16 minutes. Senior forward Kyle Sledge chipped in a team-high eight rebounds and six points, with junior guard Nick Jackson netting a career-high seven points off the bench.
With the score knotted at 7-7, Jones ignited a 12-2 outburst with back-to-back 3-pointers, including a rare four-point play at the 11:46 mark, with Jackson draining a trey 24 seconds later. Hash capped the surge with a pair of free throws, giving Anderson a double-digit 19-9 lead midway through the opening half. He reached the career milestone with two from the line with 1:14 remaining in the frame. AU maintained the cushion and held a 30-23 lead at the break.
With the Trojans holding a 36-27 advantage with more than 17 minutes left in the contest, Winston-Salem guard Marquez Jones scored six straight for the Rams, triggering a 10-2 run by the visitors and pulling WSSU within just one. But the Trojans refused to surrender the lead until Marquez Jones sank a pair of free throws at the 9:02 mark, giving the Rams a brief 54-53 edge.
Sophomore center Steven Faust regained the advantage for the Trojans with a putback and Hash knocked down a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner to give AU a lead it would not relinquish, at 60-58, with 6:21 on the clock. Winston-Salem State trimmed the Trojan lead to one with less than five minutes remaining, but would get no closer as Anderson connected on 7-of-10 free throws inside the final three minutes to clinch the victory.
The Trojans take a 13-day break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays before resuming their South Atlantic Conference schedule on the road at Catawba on Saturday, Jan. 4.