Nationally-Ranked Royals Defeat Trojans

Nationally-Ranked Royals Defeat Trojans

ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson University men's basketball forced a season-high 20 turnovers by nationally second-ranked Queens, but fell, 90-79, to the Royals in South Atlantic Conference play Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.  

Anderson fell to 2-8 on the season and 0-3 in the conference with its third consecutive setback, while Queens (8-0, 3-0 SAC) remained undefeated on the season.

Junior guard Randall Shaw shared game-high scoring honors with 20 points, while fellow junior Gage Ellis added 15 points and a pair of assists. Senior guard Maurice Howard tallied 13 points, two assists and a pair of steals, with sophomore guard Christian Jeffords coming off the bench to net 11 points in 14 minutes of action. Freshman Josh Livingston added nine points and grabbed four rebounds. 
First Half
Behind a pair of free throws from Shaw and an old-fashioned three-point play from Ellis, the Trojans scored the first five points of the contest, while holding the Royals scoreless for the first 2:13.

The game was tied three times – all in the opening six minutes of action – with Queens breaking a 9-9 deadlock with a 15-4 run that included three treys over a five-minute span, while breaking open the close contest.

AU junior forward Jeremy Bouton slowed the Royals' run with a pair of three throws at the 8:49 mark, while draining a 3-pointer from deep on the left side 13 seconds later to trim Queens' lead to six. Jeffords followed by sandwiching a pair of 3-pointers – one from the left side and one from the right wing – around a Royals free throw to trim Queens' advantage to just 25-24 with 7:23 left in the opening half.

The Royals responded with seven unanswered points to rebuild an eight-point cushion before senior Rakish Taylor dropped in a layup and Jeffords followed with his third 3-pointer of the half to pull AU within a single possession, 32-29, with less than four minutes remaining until halftime.

But Queens doubled up the Trojans' scoring over the final 3:44, scoring 18 points to AU's nine, while shooting 62.1 percent in the opening half and connecting on 5-of-10 treys to claim a 50-35 halftime advantage. 

Second Half
The Royals carried their hot hand over into the second half by shooting 50 percent (15-of-30) over the final 20 minutes and maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the way.

After falling behind, 66-48, with 12:28 on the clock, the Trojans cut the Royals' lead to 10 behind a 10-2 run, but were unable to trim the deficit to single digits. Shaw scored six of his team-high 20 during the surge, while Livingston netted three.

Queens pushed out to a 22-point advantage with 5:33 remaining, while AU finished out the contest with a 17-6 run.     
• The Trojans converted the season-high 20 turnovers into 32 points.
• Queens outrebounds the Trojans, 46-22.
• The Royals outscored AU, 48-32, in the paint.
• The Trojans made more free throws (22) than Queens attempted (20)
• The Trojans had connected on exactly nine 3-pointers in four straight games before draining seven against the Royals.
• Gage Ellis has at least one offensive rebound in six straight games.
• The Trojans have had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in four consecutive games.

The Trojans will look to get back in the win column when they wrap up their three-game SAC homestand by playing host to Newberry on Wednesday. Tip-off versus the Wolves is set for 8 p.m. at the Abney Center.