ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior Chandler Hash’s 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining provided the winning margin, as Anderson won its fourth consecutive game by rallying to edge Queens University, 85-84, in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
With the score knotted for the 12th time of the contest – and the 11th time of the second half – and just moments left in the game, junior guard Myson Jones drove to the left side of the lane and found Hash open at the top of the circle. The 6-foot guard buried his sixth 3-pointer of the contest, and fifth of the second half, to give the Trojans an 85-82 lead.
Following a timeout by Queens, the Royals inbounded the ball the length of the court to 7-foot forward Nkosi Ali who stepped toward the 3-point arc and launched a potential game-tying attempt. The ball bounced on the rim and fell through, but Ali’s foot was inside the arc and the Trojans opened the second half of their conference slate with their fourth consecutive win.
Anderson (13-5, 8-4 SAC) moved into a tie for second place in the conference standings and equaled its longest win streak of the season, while Queens fell to 8-8 overall and 6-6 in the league with its third loss in its last four outings.
“I am really proud that we made plays to get the win,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “We rebounded the ball well the second half and the guys played together.”
The first meeting between the two programs since the 2009-10 season when both were members of Conference Carolinas, saw the Trojans overcome early shooting woes. AU connected on a season-best 13 treys, while attempting a season-high 37 free throws. The Trojans won the battle of the boards, 40-37, with Queens shooting 45.6 percent from the field and the Trojans recording 40.7 percent from the field. The Anderson defense also equaled a season high with six blocked shots, marking the second time in four games that the Trojans reached the plateau.
Hash finished the afternoon with a game-high 32 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, and went 12-of-12 from the free throw line. His six 3-pointers matched his earlier season-best long range effort. Jones added 17 points on the strength of 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc and dished out a game-high six assists. Senior guard CJ Gleaton nearly recorded his sixth double-double of the campaign with 12 points and shared game-high honors with eight rebounds. Junior center Chris Ross added seven points, seven boards and two blocked shots.
Senior guard Jarrett Stokes led four Royals in double figures with 26 points, including 19 in the first half. Ali added 18 points and a team-best eight rebounds in 18 minutes, while guard Joby Glymph tallied 17 points. Senior forward Brent Evans netted 12 points.
Queens converted three early AU turnovers into seven points and doubled up the Trojans, 12-6, less than four minutes into the contest before Gleaton sparked an 11-1 run with three consecutive points. Freshman Tony Dargan and Hash followed a Queens' free throw with back-to-back 3-pointers and sophomore Steven Faust capped the outburst with a putback that gave Anderson a 17-13 edge at the 12:38 mark of the opening frame.
But Stokes countered with back-to-back treys of his own to quickly regain the lead for Queens, as the Royals built their largest lead of the contest, at 36-24, over the next five–plus minutes. Both teams then struggled through a scoring drought of nearly three minutes before Jones slowed the Royals with a rare four-point play that trimmed the Queens lead to single digits with 3:18 remaining in the half.
Jones and redshirt freshman Lex Davis accounted for the Trojans’ final 11 points of the frame, as AU went to intermission trailing 40-35.
AU whittled away at the deficit and Ross’ traditional three-point play with 15:59 on the clock gave the Trojans their first lead, 49-47, since the 12:26 mark of the first half. Less than two minutes later, Ross added a pair of free throws to boost AU’s lead to four, equaling their largest advantage of the afternoon.
The contest featured nine ties and eight lead changes over the final 12 minutes of action, with neither team able to build more than a four-point lead.
With Queens clinging to a 74-72 lead following two free throws from Ali, Hash drained a 3-pointer from the right wing at the 3:02 mark and the Trojans would not trail the rest of the way. AU led by four on three occasions over the next two minutes, but Glymph and Evans combined for four straight free throws inside the final minute to even the score at 82 apiece with 20 seconds remaining to set up the final frantic moments.
Anderson will look continue building momentum when the Trojans welcome Carson-Newman to the Abney Athletic Center on Wednesday, as the two teams meet for the first time this season. Tip-off versus the Eagles is slated for 8 p.m.