ANDERSON, S.C. – Winning the rebounding battle 47-23 and posting 20 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second chance points, Anderson University women’s basketball earned a 74-61 win over South Atlantic Conference newcomer Queens University of Charlotte Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Junior Jasmine Franklin paced the Trojans on the boards with nine rebounds to go along with her nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, just missing her first double-double of the season. Leading AU offensively was junior sharpshooter Lesley Woods with five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 19 points. With her five treys, Woods is now in a three-way tie for eighth-place all-time in program history, joining Kim Hausman (2003-07) and Lateshia Williams (1997-01) with 116.
Following Woods was freshman Heather Jankowy who poured in 11 points as the freshman has now scored in double figures in four straight contests. Joining Franklin with nine points were freshman Alexis Dillard, who also grabbed seven rebounds, and junior Jaclyn Moore, who broke her previous career-high of eight points.
For the game, the Trojans knocked in nine 3-pointers, after coming off a game where they recorded 10 3-pointers on Wednesday at Brevard. In the two-game span, AU is 19-for-58 (32.8 percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
“This was a really good win,” Anderson head coach Jimmy Garrity said. “I was proud of our effort and execution today. I thought we did a great job of crashing the offensive glass and converting on second chance opportunities.”
On the opposite end, Queens (5-11, 4-8 SAC) recorded three players who played the entire 40 minutes, as Shonice Pettaway and Nikia Squire each posted 18 points. The duo combined for 59 percent of the Royals’ scoring output on the afternoon, as Pettaway also led the team in rebounds with six.
After the teams battled to an 11-11 tie in the opening nine minutes, Anderson went on a quick 5-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer in the corner by senior Emily Willoughby at the 8:25 mark. Queens quickly responded and eventually drew the score even once again at 16-16 when Squire dropped in a pair of free throws with 7:29 remaining.
The Royals took their first lead of the contest at the 6:43 mark when Pettaway recorded a 3-pointer from the top of the key for one of her three treys of the opening half, giving Queens a 19-18 advantage.
After Pettaway made a jumper, the Trojans answered as Jankwoy buried a 3-pointer from the wing to even the score at 21-21 with 5:26 left in the period. Following the bucket, Queens continued its offensive attack and scored back-to-back baskets on ensuring possessions, forcing Garrity to call a timeout with 4:29 left and trailing 25-21.
The timeout would settle the AU offense as Jankowy and Woods posted back-to-back 3-pointers to give the home side a 27-25 lead. Following a basket from Royal McKell Oliverio, the Trojans began a 9-0 run over the next three minutes, beginning with a Sierra Simpson runner in the lane for two of her four points on the afternoon. The run would give the Trojans a 36-27 lead, before Squire snapped the Queens scoring drought with a fast break lay-in to beat the halftime buzzer.
In the second half, the Anderson offense proved to be the difference as it would eventually take its first double-digit lead of the game when Dillard posted a tradition 3-point play with 15:28 left. Despite the advantage, the Royals cut the deficit to just three points when Oliverio scored on a jumper, bringing the score to 44-41. Oliverio, Queens’ lone substitute for the game, finished with six points in 14 minutes.
The Trojans answered the Oliverio basket with three straight field goals by Franklin and Dillard to increase the AU lead to 50-41 with less than nine minutes to play. Anderson grabbed its double figure lead of the contest when Woods connected on a 3-pointer in front of the Trojan bench, as Queens would only come as close to seven points following the 3-point field goal.
“Jasmine Franklin really provided a spark in the second half that our team needed,” Garrity said. “Jaclyn Moore had a really good game for us in the post, she was a big defensive presence and very efficient on the offensive end. Lesley Woods continues to shoot the ball very well from the outside.”
AU’s 47 rebounds for the day is its highest total since its 78-71 win over Mars Hill on Jan. 15 (49), as the plus-24 rebounding margin was its highest of the season.
The Trojans are now 8-1 this year when scoring more than 70 points for a game, as they move to an even 6-6 record in the SAC. For the game, AU shot 42.4 percent from the floor (28-66), as the Trojans move to 6-3 when shooting more than 41 percent from the floor.
In the all-time series, Anderson has now won five-straight games over the Royals, rekindling a rivalry for the first time since the 2010 Conference Carolinas Championship game, when AU knocked off Queens, 62-52 at the Abney Center on March 6, 2010.
Anderson looks to end the month of January on a high note when it welcome SAC leader Carson-Newman to the Abney Center on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.