Trojans Stumble at Home to Wingate

Trojans Stumble at Home to Wingate

ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson men's basketball team started strong, but was unable to keep pace as the Trojans fell, 82-61, to South Atlantic Conference-foe Wingate, Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.  

Anderson fell to 4-11 overall and 2-5 in conference action with its third straight setback, while Wingate (8-7, 5-2 SAC) captured its second road win of the season.

Junior guard Gage Ellis led the Trojan attack with 11 points and pulled down a team-high five rebounds. Junior forward Jeremy Bouton and freshman Josh Livingston each added nine points apiece, while freshman guard Myliek Durham netted eight points and dished out three assists. Senior guard Maurice Howard also handed out three assists.

First Half
With senior center Rakish Taylor leading the way by scoring AU's first four points, the Trojans jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead inside the first 2:13. Following a pair of layups by the Bulldogs, junior Andrew Boynton nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to give the Black and Gold a 10-6 edge with more than 16 minutes remaining in the opening frame.

Behind early 5-of-9 shooting, the Trojan led for more than 6 ½ minutes, but Wingate posted an 11-2 run to turn the four-point Trojan advantage into a 17-12 lead at the 11:53 mark and the Bulldogs would not trail again. A layup by Livingston slowed Wingate, but the 'Dogs Jeremy Williams countered with a 3-pointer to cap the 14-4 surge.

Durham answered with a jumper for the Trojans and Livingston added a traditional three-point play to get AU within 20-19, but the Trojans were unable to overtake the Bulldogs, who responded by pushing out to a six-point edge on four occasions before closing the half with eight unanswered points to claim a 41-30 halftime lead.           

Second Half
The Trojans trimmed the deficit to single digits (44-35) on Bouton's 3-pointer with less than two minutes gone in the second half, but Wingate steadily built a 19-point lead over the next seven minutes.

Trailing, 61-42, midway through the half, the Trojans posted a 12-5 run to get within a dozen inside the final five minutes, but would get no closer the rest of the way.     

The Trojans had positive assist/turnover ratio on the day, with nine assists and just eight turnovers – their second-lowest total of the season.  

• AU did not commit a turnover until the 5:01 mark of the first half.
• The Trojans, who entered the game leading the SAC in free throw accuracy, connected on just 11-of-17 (64.7%) from the line.   
• Wingate won the rebounding battle, 42-32, and pulled down 12 offensive rebounds.
• Gage Ellis has reached double-figure scoring in six straight games.

The Trojans play host to Mars Hill on Wednesday. Tip-off versus the Lions is set for 8 p.m.