ANDERSON, S.C. – Paced by senior guard CJ Gleaton’s 27 points, third-seeded Anderson outlasted sixth-seeded Queens, 76-65, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (21-8) advances to face seventh-seeded Coker, which upset No. 2 seed Carson-Newman, in the SAC Tournament semifinals on Saturday, with tip-off slated for 2:30 p.m. at Timmons Arena. With the Trojans’ seventh consecutive home win, AU avenged last Saturday’s loss and earned its third consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Queens ended its inaugural season in the South Atlantic Conference with a 14-12 overall record.
“We took care of the ball and competed on the glass in the second half,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “I am proud of the effort of everyone.”
The Royals out-rebounded Anderson, 33-31, on the night, but the Trojans converted 17 Queens’ turnovers into 21 points and out-shot the visitors, 46.4 percent to 43.1 percent.
Gleaton equaled his career high with the 27-point effort and added a game-high 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Junior guard Myson Jones added 19 points and dished out four assists, while junior center Chris Ross netted 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Senior guard Jarrett Stokes led three Royals in double digits with 26 points, while sophomore Joby Glymph chipped in 11 points. Senior Brent Evans added 10 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
Queens used its inside strength and long-range shooting to jump out to a double-double digit, 14-4, lead inside the first six minutes of the contest. The Royals were just 5-of-11 from the field, but were 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, while Anderson connected on just two of its first seven shots.
After the Royals opened their largest lead of the contest, 18-7, with 12:10 left in the first half, Jones and junior guard Nick Jackson drained back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 17-4 outburst by the Trojans over the next six-plus minutes that culminated in AU’s first lead since the opening basket of the game.
The lead changed hands three times and there were three ties in the final five minutes of the first half, with the two teams heading to the locker rooms deadlocked at 31-31.
Neither team was able to build more than a three-point advantage through the opening 10 minutes of the final half, but Gleaton dropped in five straight points for the Trojans and senior guard Chandler Hash posted a rare four-point play to ignite a 14-1 surge that gave Anderson a lead it would not relinquish, at 63-50, with less than six minutes left in the game.
Queens trimmed the Trojans’ lead to eight on three occasions inside the final five minutes, but would get no closer, as AU connected on 7-of-8 from the stripe to seal the win.