ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior Gage Ellis' first double-double in the Black and Gold helped lift the Anderson men's basketball team to a convincing, 79-65, nonconference win over Johnson C, Smith, Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson improved to 5-3 on the season with its fourth straight home win, while avenging a three-point loss suffered at the hands of the Golden Bulls in their first-ever meeting last season.
Johnson C. Smith fell to 2-4 on the season with its second straight loss.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Ellis led all scorers with 27 points and also pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds. The Greenville, S.C., native was a perfect 10-for-10 at the charity stripe and also swiped a pair of steals. Senior guard Andrew Boynton added 13 points and came up with three steals, with forward Jeremy Bouton netting 12 points. Sophomore forward Josh Livingston recorded eight points and seven rebounds in just 19 minutes of action, junior guard Shawn Benard handing out a game-high eight assists and grabbing three steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Livingston dropped in a pair of free throws to open the scoring just 12 seconds into the contest and the Trojans never looked back. AU steadily extended its' lead to 13-5 with more than 13 minutes on the clock and matched that advantage moments later.
The Golden Bulls trimmed the AU lead to three points on four occasions, before getting as close as 27-26 on a layup by junior guard Cayse Minor with 3:26 left in the half. But Bouton responded with his third basket of the half and Ellis scored the Trojans' final eight points of the frame with a pair of free throws, a traditional three-point play and a 3-pointer at the buzzer, as AU claimed a 37-30 halftime lead.
Ellis carried his hot streak into the second half, as the 6-foot-3 guard posted the Trojans' first seven points by notching yet another traditional three-point play that boosted AU's advantage to a double-digit, 40-30, edge and following up with four consecutive three throws.
The Trojans built their largest lead of the contest, 70-50, on a pair of free throws by Ellis with 5:52 left and closed out the victory with their third-largest margin of the season.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
Buoyed by Gage Ellis' 10-for-10 shooting, the Trojans were a season-high 17-for-18 (94.4%) from the free throw stripe.
• The Trojans opened their longest homestand of the season and the longest since the 2012-13 season.
• The Trojans and Golden Bulls were meeting for the first time at the Abney Athletic Center and just the second time in program history.
• AU won the rebounding battle, 34-29.
• The 18 turnovers were the most this season for the Trojans.
• AU has recorded a dozen assists in each of the last two games.
• AU has won its first four home games of the season for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, when AU knocked off Erskine, North Greenville, Mars Hill, Johnson and Wales, Lincoln Memorial and Tusculum at the Abney Center.
• Gage Ellis' double-double was the second of the season for AU.
• Shawn Benard has dished out at least five assists in five consecutive games.
• The Trojans have connected on at least 80% of their free throws in each of the last five games.
• Gage Ellis has reached double-figure scoring in all seven games.
Anderson jumps back into South Atlantic Conference action by playing host to preseason conference favorite Lincoln Memorial, Wednesday night. Tip-off versus the Railsplitters is set for 7:30 p.m.