ANDERSON, S.C. – With six players reaching double figures in the scoring column for the first time this season, Anderson topped Mars Hill, 106-76, in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action Monday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (18-6, 13-5 SAC), which has already clinched a berth in next month’s conference tournament, wrapped up its two-game homestand by winning its ninth decision in the last 10 outings and swept the season series with Mars Hill, which fell to 5-18 overall and 3-15 in the conference with its second loss in the last three decisions.
With both teams playing their second game in three days due to rescheduling issues related to last week’s winter weather, the Trojans claimed their seventh straight victory over Mars Hill, while keeping pace with Carson-Newman for second place in the league standings.
“This was just a really good team win,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “We shot the ball well in stretches and shared the ball. We also rebounded well in the second half.”
The Trojans posted their most points since tallying 113 points in a double-overtime win past Newberry in the semifinals of the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament. AU posted a 51.5 percent field-goal accuracy, while holding the Lions to 35.8 percent from the field on the night. The Trojans also owned a 44-40 rebounding edge, marking the 10th consecutive game that AU has out-rebounded its opponent.
Every player wearing the Black and Gold that entered the game scored, with the senior guard duo of Chandler Hash and CJ Gleaton sharing team-high scoring honors with 19 apiece. Each pulled down four rebounds, with Hash adding three assists and a pair of steals. Gleaton notched two assists and a steal on the night. Junior center Chris Ross added 11 points in 18 minutes, while junior guard Myson Jones, sophomore guard Myles Daniel and freshman Tony Dargan each tallied 10 points apiece. Dargan also recorded a team-best six rebounds.
Mars Hill junior guard Devonte Williams led all scorers with 27 points, while sophomore guard Carter Wright added 17 and Kevin Haynes netting 11. Junior forward Isaiah Cuthbertson recorded a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Trojans jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and never looked back, as the Lions misfired on their first seven shots and were unable to get on the scoreboard until Wright connected on a pair of free throws at the 16:05 mark of the opening stanza.
Anderson opened a double-digit 14-4 lead on a jumper from Gleaton and back-to-back long-range 3-pointers from Hash boosted the Trojans advantage to 34-11 with 9:21 left in the first half. With the Trojans holding a 21-point edge, Mars Hill went on an 11-2 run to trim AU’s cushion to 51-39 with 1:34 on the clock, but Ross’s traditional three-point play halted the surge and Anderson held a 56-39 halftime lead.
The Trojans maintained the advantage through the final 20 minutes and led by 34 points in the final moments.
Anderson will be playing its third game in five days on Wednesday, as the Trojans open a two-game road swing at Carson-Newman looking for a sweep of the season series after edging the Eagles, 83-81, earlier this season. The winner of the mid-week contest will claim sole possession of second place in the league standings. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. in Jefferson City, Tenn.