ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior guard Randall Shaw led four Trojans in double figures, as the Anderson men's basketball team stretched its win streak to three games by rolling past Mars Hill, 87-75, in South Atlantic Conference action, Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson improved to 11-7 overall and 5-5 in league action with its fifth consecutive home victory, while Mars Hill (7-10, 2-8 SAC) suffered its sixth loss in seven outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Shaw poured in a season-high 29 points, while connecting on 8-of-14 from the field and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. Senior forward Jeremy Bouton was 8-of-11 from the field on his way to 19 points and also pulled down five rebounds. Sophomore forward Josh Livingston added 11 points, with senior guard Gage Ellis netting 10 points. The Greenville, S.C., native grabbed six rebounds and equaled a career high by dishing out four assists. Junior guard Shawn Benard scored eight points, pulled down eight boards and handed out a game-high five assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Mars Hill scored the first basket of the game, but it was the only time the Trojans trailed all night, as Benard and Andrew Boynton quickly countered with back-to-back field goals to give AU the lead for good, with 17:01 left in the first half.
The Trojans' advantage hovered between two and five points until senior guard Kevin Simpson book-ended a 10-2 run with 3-pointers and boosted AU's advantage to 24-14 at the 9:27 mark.
Five minutes later, Ellis' first trey of the night gave the Trojans their largest lead of the opening half, at 34-20, and AU went to halftime holding a 38-27 edge.
With Shaw dropping in a dozen points to fuel the surge, the Trojans opened the second stanza with a 16-6 outburst and built a 54-33 advantage less than five minutes into the final half. With 12:20 remaining in the contest, Shaw's free throw pushed AU's lead to 65-41 – its' largest of the game.
The two teams quickly traded baskets before the Lions came roaring back behind a 20-5 scoring outburst and slashed the Trojans' comfortable lead to single digits, 72-63, with nearly six minutes left in the game. But Bouton responded with six points to fuel a quick 10-2 run and AU rebuilt an insurmountable, 82-65, cushion with 3:08 on the clock and Mars Hill would get no closer than the final 12-point margin in the final moments.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Trojans trailed just once – after Mars Hill scored the first field goal of the night.
• The Trojans improved to 9-1 at home.
• Mars Hill was playing its second game in three days and third contest in five days.
• AU has equaled its longest win streak of the season.
• The Trojans claimed their sixth straight win over the Lions.
• AU out-rebounded the Lions, 40-32.
• The Trojans have dished out double-figure assists in eight consecutive games.
• Jeremy Bouton has pulled down at least five rebounds in seven straight games.
• Randall Shaw needs just five points to surpass former standout Chandler Hash (2011-14) for third place in the school record books and needs just 17 points to move past Nick Trull (2008-12) for second place.
• Jeremy Bouton needs 49 points to become the 14th player in program history to score at least 1,000 career points.
The Trojans will wrap up their three-game homestand and begin the second half of their double-round robin conference schedule when league-leading and nationally sixth-ranked Queens invades the Abney Center on Saturday. Tip-off versus the Royals is set for 4 p.m.