Trojans Rally in Second Half to Outrun Wolves

Trojans Rally in Second Half to Outrun Wolves

NEWBERRY, S.C. – After trailing by a dozen points at halftime, the Anderson men's basketball team erupted for 58 points in the second frame and rallied to top Newberry, 93-90, in South Atlantic Conference action, Saturday afternoon at Eleazer Arena.

Buoyed by 64.5 percent shooting in the second half, including 85 percent shooting from inside the arc, Anderson improved to 9-7 overall and 3-5 in conference action. With the win, the Trojans wrapped up their four-game road swing by snapping a three-game skid. Newberry slipped to 5-8 overall and 1-5 in league action with its second straight loss third setback in four decisions.

Led by senior guard Gage Ellis' 23 points, all five Trojan starters reached double-figure scoring. Ellis was 10-of-11 from inside the arc on the day and connected on all seven of his two-point field goal attempts in the second half. Senior forward Jeremy Bouton narrowly missed his first double-double of the season, with 17 points and nine rebounds, with guard Andrew Boynton notching his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. The senior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., also equaled a season-high with four assists on the afternoon. Sophomore forward Josh Livingston came off the bench to chip in eight points and seven boards.

Senior Randall Shaw added 13 points – all in the first half – with junior guard Shawn Benard capturing his second double-double of the campaign with 10 points and a game-high 10 assists.

First Half
Neither team was able to find the bottom of the basket until Bouton sank a pair of free throws with 18:25 on the clock and the Trojan defense held the potent Newberry offense scoreless for nearly three minutes.

Shaw capitalized on the Wolves' early drought by netting five quick points to lead AU to a 9-4 lead – its' largest of the first half – at the 15:45 mark, but Newberry responded by taking advantage of the frenzied pace of the game and used a 23-7 scoring outburst to claim a double-digit, 27-15, advantage with exactly nine minutes left in the opening frame.

Trailing by a dozen, Shaw sparked a 10-3 surge with a 3-pointer and Ellis added a traditional three-point play to help fuel the run, with Bouton and Benard each adding two points apiece to pull AU within 30-25 with more than five minutes on the clock.

Newberry quickly rebuilt a 10-point lead before the Trojans just as quickly sliced the deficit in half before the Wolves closed the half with an 11-4 burst to stake a 47-35 halftime lead.

Second Half
With Bouton providing the early firepower by scoring six of AU's first 10 points of the second half, the Trojans chipped away to cut the halftime deficit in half again just before the first media timeout. But the Wolves countered to rebuild a double-digit, 59-49, cushion before senior Kevin Simpson drained a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner to trigger a massive 19-5 scoring outburst by the Trojans.

Following a layup by Benard, Boynton scored the next six points for AU and less than two minutes later, Bouton connected on a 3-pointer from the right side that gave the Trojans their first lead since the 14:12 mark of the first half, at 66-64. AU would not trail again, as the Black and Gold went on to lead by as many as 14 points inside the final two minutes, but had to survive one final push by the Wolves.

A pair of free throws by Boynton with just 28 seconds on the clock lifted the Trojans to a 92-80 advantage, but AU misfired on 3-of-4 free throws in the closing moments, while Newberry connected on a 3-pointer and 4-of-5 free throws over the next 22 seconds to close within 92-87. Simpson then connected on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe and the Wolves' Luke Gibson knocked down a trey just before the buzzer to set the final score.

The Trojans were 17-of-20 (85.0%) from inside the arc in the final 20 minutes and did not miss a two-point attempt inside the final 10:50 of the game.

• After trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half, the Trojans led by as many as 14 points in the second half.
• The Trojans' 52.5 percent shooting on the day was their fourth-highest accuracy of the season.
• AU saw five players reach double-figure scoring for the second time this season.
• The Trojans claimed their second road win of the season.
• The Trojans won the battle of the boards, 37-32, and pulled down 10 offensive rebounds.
• AU has won four of the last five meetings with the Wolves.
• The Trojans have reached double-figure assists in six straight games.
Gage Ellis has reached double-figure scoring in all 15 of his games.
• The 47 points scored by Newberry in the first half were the most by an AU opponent in the opening frame this season.
• The 58 points scored by AU in the second stanza marked the second-highest total for the Trojans this season – behind just the 61 points scored in the 100-73 win over North Greenville.
Jeremy Bouton has pulled down at least five rebounds in five straight games.

Following a six-day layoff, Anderson returns home for the first time in the New Year, as the Trojans prepare for a three-game homestand. Catawba will invade the Abney Athletic Center on Saturday, Jan. 19, with tip-off versus the Indians slated for 4 p.m.