BREVARD, N.C. – Paced by sophomore guard Randall Shaw's career-high 45 points, the Anderson men's basketball team opened the New Year by rolling past Brevard, 97-82, in South Atlantic Conference action, Wednesday night at Boshamer Gymnasium.
Anderson improved to 7-6 overall and 5-2 in conference action and showed little ill effect of a two-week layoff by posting its second-highest point total of the season. The Trojans have won four of their last five outings and have claimed victories in eight of their last 10 matchups with the Tornados.
Brevard fell to 2-11 overall and 0-7 in the conference, while dropping its fifth decision in seven outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Shaw scored 26 of his career-best effort in the opening half, while going 17-of-21 from the field on the night, including 8-of-10 from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Greenville, S.C., also shared game-high rebounding honors with eight boards. Freshman center Carlos Dotson added 12 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of action, with sophomore forward Jeremy Bouton chipping in eight points and five rebounds. Freshman guard Christian Jeffords recorded eight points off the bench.
The Trojans never trailed, scoring the first nine points of the game, while opening the contest by connecting on their first eight shot attempts, including six 3-pointers, and held the host Tornados without a field goal until junior guard Stevie Williams dropped in a close jumper at the 15:50 mark, setting the score at 15-4.
Shaw fueled the early Trojan offense with 21 points inside the first 10 minutes on 8-of-9 shooting, including five 3-pointers.
The Trojans opened a double-digit, 12-2, advantage less than four minutes into the contest and built their largest lead of the half, at 28-11, on a layup by Shaw midway through the half and equaled the 17-point margin on four more occasions in the frame.
Brevard pulled within 36-26 on a layup by senior forward Omar El Diraoui with less than six minutes left in the frame, but Shaw, Jeffords and Shawn Benard countered with seven unanswered points to recapture the 17-point lead.
Brevard junior guard Shelby Parris dropped in a runner with 2:59 remaining to trim the Trojan lead to single digits (43-34), but Jeffords snapped the Tornado's eight-point run with a trey from the left side and AU held a 50-39 advantage at the break.
The Trojans maintained the margin through the second stanza, while using a 7-0 spurt midway through the half to claim a 68-48 lead – its' largest of the contest.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
Shaw's 45 points eclipsed former Trojan standout Chandler Hash's 44 points in a 2014 SAC Tournament semifinal win over Coker and was the most for an AU player since Denzail Jones poured in 50 points in a 113-106 double overtime win over Newberry in the 2012 SAC Tournament semifinals.
• The Trojans have now opened the New Year with a victory in eight consecutive seasons.
• The Trojans are 56-of-112 (50.0%) from beyond the arc over the last five games.
• The Trojans have drained at least 10 treys in four of their last five games.
• AU outrebounded its opponent for the first time in four contests.
• The Trojans have averaged 90.4 points per game in their last five contests.
• AU has scored a combined 242 points in the first half of its last five games, for an average of 48.4 points per half.
• The Trojans have made more free throws than five of their last six opponents.
The Trojans open a two-game conference homestand by playing host to Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday, while preseason SAC favorite Lincoln Memorial invades the Abney Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Tip-off versus L-R is set for 4 p.m.