ANDERSON, S.C. – Using a late first-half run, the Anderson men’s basketball team wrapped up its home slate by outpacing Tusculum, 89-76, in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (20-7, 15-6 SAC) clinched at least the fourth seed in next month’s conference tournament and has now earned its fourth 20-win season in the last five years. Tusculum fell to 3-24 overall and 2-19 in the league with its eighth consecutive loss.
The Trojans claimed their ninth straight win over the Pioneers and won their sixth consecutive home contest.
Anderson held a 41-32 rebounding advantage and forced 11 turnovers that resulted in 20 points. The Pioneers shot 44.8 percent from the field on the night, while AU posted 43.8 percent accuracy.
Senior guard Chandler Hash led the Trojans with 28 points and pulled down four rebounds. Junior guard Myson Jones added 22 points, two assists and two steals on the night. Senior guard CJ Gleaton tallied 16 points and six rebounds, while junior center Chris Ross grabbed a team-high seven rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Tusculum’s Darius Carter led all scorers with 39 points and was a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line, while freshman center Chase Mounce netted 11 points and recorded seven rebounds. Addison Flynn chipped in 10 points.
“I am really proud of this group of guys,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “And I am pleased that we could give them a good send-off.”
Trailing, 14-12, with less than 12 minutes left in the first half, junior guard Alani Adekambi knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner to ignite an 11-0 run by the Trojans, as AU pushed out to a 23-14 lead. Gleaton helped fuel the run with four points.
But the Pioneers responded with a 16-3 outburst of their own to take a 30-26 edge with just more than five minutes remaining in the opening frame. Then it was Anderson’s turn to respond, as the Trojans closed the half with a 16-2 surge and claimed a 42-32 halftime advantage. Jones and Hash each scored seven points during the decisive run.
Anderson would not trail again, opening an 11-point lead on Hash’s 3-pointer at the 15:33 mark of the second half and went on to build an 80-64 cushion with 4:11 on the clock. Tusculum trimmed the Trojans’ lead to eight on two occasions inside the final three minutes, but would get no closer.
Anderson wraps up its regular-season schedule by visiting Queens University of Charlotte on Saturday. The Trojans will be looking for a sweep of the season series after edging the Royals, 85-84, at the Abney Center in late January. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.