DUE WEST, S.C. – Senior forward Thomas Nolan connected on his third 3-pointer of the night to give Erskine a late lead and the Flying Fleet escaped with a 48-45 win over Anderson in nonconference men's basketball action, Saturday night at Belk Arena.
Anderson slipped to 1-3 on the early season with its third consecutive setback, while Erskine (1-3) earned its first win of the season.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior guard Randall Shaw shared game-high honors with 15 points, while junior forward Jeremy Bouton added 13 points, including 11 in the first half, and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds. Senior guard Maurice Howard collected a season-high seven rebounds and dished out a pair of assists, with freshman Josh Livingston adding 10 points and five boards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams struggled to get untracked offensively early in the contest, with the squads combining for just six baskets and 18 points midway through the opening half.
Bouton connected on three treys in the opening half, as the junior from Orlando, Fla., led all scorers with 11 points in the first 20 minutes of action. He sandwiched back-to-back 3-pointers around a trey from Erskine's Trent Smoot to give the Trojans a 6-3 lead with just less than 16 minutes on the clock.
Following a layup from the Flying Fleet's Austin Venable, AU posted seven unanswered points to take its biggest lead of the game, at 13-5, midway through the frame.
Erskine chipped away at the Trojans' lead and knotted the score at 19 apiece and again at 21-21, before the Fleet grabbed a brief, 24-23, edge on a 3-pointer from Parker Helgerson with 2:07 on the clock. Livingston answered with his lone trey of the half to regain the lead for AU and Shaw wrapped up the first-half scoring with a layup to give the Trojans a 28-24 lead at intermission.
The offensive woes continued into the second half, but Erskine opened the final stanza with a 5-2 surge to creep within 30-29 at the 14:29 mark. The Fleet knotted the score at 32 apiece with 11:18 remaining in the contest, while Anderson turned away the Fleet and held the lead until Venable gave Erskine just its' second lead of the night, at 38-37, with 8:39 left.
The Fleet edged out to a 41-39 lead, but Livingston and Shaw answered by knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers in a 42-second span to give the Black and Gold a 45-41 advantage with a little more than five minutes left on the clock.
Nolan's jumper trimmed AU's cushion to a deuce with 3:42 left and his third 3-pointer of the night gave the Fleet a 46-45 lead, while the Trojans misfired on three shots and committed a pair of turnovers in the final 2:18, as Erskine escaped with its first win of the season after junior Jaywaun Washington dropped in a pair of free throws in the final moments.
• Combined with the win by the Trojan women, Erskine now holds a 4 ½ -3 lead in the battle for the coveted Beville Cup.
• Erskine held a 35-34 edge in the rebounding battle.
• Each team connected on seven 3-pointers.
• The Trojans have won six of the last 10 matchups in the rivalry.
• The Trojans have outscored each of their first four opponents in the first half.
• The Trojans have shot more free throws than their opponents in each of the first four games.
• AU has recorded a better free-throw percentage than its opponents in each of the first four games.
• AU has been outrebounded in each of the last three contests.
• The 48 points allowed was the fewest since surrendering just 47 points in a 110-47 win over Johnson and Wales on Dec. 12, 2011.
• The Trojans allowed just 48 points in a 63-48 win over Erskine during the 2011-12 campaign.
• The Trojans scored 52 points in a 61-52 setback to Lincoln Memorial on Feb. 16, 2013.
• Shaw has reached double figures in all four games.
Anderson returns home to the Abney Athletic Center for a Tuesday night contest against USC Aiken. Tip-off versus the Pacers is set for 7 p.m.