ANDERSON, S.C. – Junior guard Andrew Boynton drained a 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds on the clock and converted the following free throw for a rare four-point play to propel the Anderson men's basketball team past Newberry, 81-79, in South Atlantic Conference play Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (3-8, 1-3 SAC) wrapped up its three-game homestand by snapping a three-game losing streak and claimed its first conference win of the season, while Newberry (7-4, 2-2), which was coming off a 10-day layoff, saw its win streak halted at two.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Forward Jeremy Bouton led the Trojans with a season-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. The junior from Orlando, Fla., also pulled down a team-high six rebounds and dished out two assists. Junior guard Gage Ellis added 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Boynton netted a season-high 15 points, including five in the final 3:15, on the strength of four 3-pointers. Senior guard Maurice Howard recorded 13 points, four rebounds and three assists, with junior guard Randall Shaw tallying 11 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The game was tied six times, including five times in the opening 20 minutes. Four early turnovers hampered the AU offense, but the Trojans used six unanswered points, including a pair of layups by Ellis, to take its only lead (8-7) of the first 31 minutes of the contest.
With the score deadlocked at 14 apiece, Newberry reeled off eight straight points and the Wolves held the advantage until Ellis capped a 10-2 outburst with a traditional three-point play to knot the score at 34-34 with 6:25 left in the first half. But Newberry closed out the half on a 13-3 run to claim a double-digit, 47-37, lead at the break.
The Wolves built their halftime advantage to 15 points less than three minutes into the second half, but the Trojans crept back into the contest and Ellis' layup with just less than 16 minutes on the clock trimmed the Newberry lead to single digits, at 56-47. Bouton, who was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range in the second half, followed by connecting on his first 3-pointer of the final stanza less than a minute later to get AU within two possessions.
Newberry responded by scoring five unanswered points to quickly rebuild a double-digit, 61-50, cushion but the Trojans countered with an impressive 23-7 scoring run over the next eight minutes to take their largest lead of the contest, 73-67, with 5:34 on the clock. Howard sparked the outburst with his lone 3-pointer of the night, while Howard and Bouton each scored seven points apiece during the decisive run.
The two teams traded baskets over the next three minutes, with Newberry senior Rob Valentine knocking down his fifth 3-pointer of the night from deep on the left side to cap a 7-0 surge that gave the Wolves a 79-77 edge with 1:11 remaining in the game and setting up Boynton's late heroics.
After each team misfired on jumpers, the Trojans called a 30-second timeout and as Boynton weaved through traffic, Howard found him open on the left side. Boynton canned the game-winning trey while drawing the foul and made the free throw to give the Trojans a little breathing room, as he provided the seventh lead change of the night.
Newberry's Marshall Lange missed on a heavily-contested jumper with 1.4 seconds on the clock and after the ball was knocked out of bounds, the Wolves threw the ball away on the ensuing in-bounds play as AU completed the comeback.
• AU's 55.2 shooting percentage marked its second-highest accuracy of the season.
• The Trojans outscored Newberry, 38-28, in the paint.
• Newberry came into the contest averaging 86.8 points per contest and leading the SAC with 13.6 made 3-pointers per game – the Wolves connected on 11 treys on the night.
• The Trojan defense forced 20 turnovers in last Saturday's home loss to Queens, then the Trojans committed their second-highest tally of the season (19) against the Wolves.
• Newberry converted the 19 miscues into 17 points.
• Andrew Boynton is a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe on the season.
• Newberry outrebounded the Trojans, 41-35, and pulled down 17 offensive boards.
• The Trojans have connected on at least six 3-pointers in every game this season.
The Trojans travel to Catawba for a brief one-game conference road swing on Saturday before taking a two-week break for Christmas. Tip-off versus the Indians is set for 4 p.m. in Salisbury, N.C.