ANDERSON, S.C. – Despite having four players reach double figures in the scoring column, the Anderson men's basketball team wrapped up the regular season with an 82-76 setback to Coker, Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (10-18, 8-12 SAC) saw its win streak halted at three games, while Coker (12-16, 9-11 SAC) snapped a three-game skid and swept the season series with the Trojans.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Senior center Rakish Taylor narrowly missed his second straight double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds, while going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field. Junior forward Jeremy Bouton came off the bench to add 15 points and equaled a season-high with five assists. Junior guard Randall Shaw netted 13 points, with junior guard Gage Ellis scoring 10 points in 23 minutes of action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Senior Lester Rochez's jumper with 6:30 left in the opening half snapped a 20-20 deadlock and sparked a brief 6-0 surge by the Trojans over the next minute, with AU holding the advantage until Coker freshman Khalil Halls knotted the score at 31 apiece with 1:55 remaining. Taylor answered on the other end with a short jumper, but the Cobras countered by closing the half with five straight points to claim a 36-33 halftime advantage.
The lead changed hands a dozen times over the final 20 minutes, with Coker's Marquis Green giving the visitors the lead for good with his second 3-pointer of the contest with 7:32 on the clock.
The Cobras edged out to a 75-68 lead with less than five minutes remaining, while AU trimmed the deficit to five points on three occasions in the final minutes. But the Trojans could get no closer, as Coker connected on just enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
• The largest lead for either team was eight points.
• The score was tied 13 times and the lead changed hands 21 times.
• AU's 29 turnovers were the most since turning the ball over 31 times at Newberry last season.
• Coker converted the miscues into 26 points.
• AU forced the Cobras into 21 turnovers – a season-high for an opponent this season.
• Coker won the rebounding battle, 39-35, and swiped 19 steals.
The Trojans will be making their second straight appearance in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament and will visit nationally top-ranked and No. 1- seeded Lincoln Memorial, Wednesday. Tip-off versus the Railsplitters is set for 8 p.m.
The Conference Championship schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, Feb. 28 (at Highest Seeds)
Game 1: #1 Lincoln Memorial vs. #8 Anderson, 8 p.m.
Game 2: #4 Wingate vs. #5 Coker, 8 p.m.
Game 3: #2 Queens vs. #7 Lenoir-Rhyne, 7 p.m.
Game 4: #3 Carson-Newman vs. #6 Newberry, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 (Timmons Arena, Greenville, S.C.)
Game 5: winner game 1 vs. winner game 2, 5:30 p.m.
Game 6: winner game 3 vs. winner game 4, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 4 (Timmons Arena, Greenville, S.C.)
Game 7: winner game 5 vs. winner game 6, 4 p.m.