ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior Gage Ellis poured in 22 points and sophomore Josh Livingston added a career-high 20 points, but the Anderson men's basketball team dropped a 76-69 decision to Wingate in South Atlantic Conference action, Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (12-9, 6-7 SAC) dropped its second straight home decision, while Wingate improved to 13-8 overall and 8-4 in conference play with its third straight win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Ellis was 9-of-16 from the field and nearly posted his fourth double-double of the season by pulling down eight rebounds. Livingston narrowly missed recording his second career double-double by grabbing a season-high nine rebounds and was 8-of-10 from the field. Senior guard Randall Shaw added nine points and junior guard Shawn Benard handed out a game-high seven assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Bulldogs scored the first nine points of the contest, before Livingston dropped in a jumper to snap AU's early drought and get the Trojans on the scoreboard at the 14:33 mark. Wingate steadily built a double-digit, 15-5, advantage midway through the opening half and claimed its largest lead of the game, at 38-19, with less than two minutes left before halftime.
Fueled by six points from Shaw and five from senior Andrew Boynton, the Trojans responded by coming out of the break on a 20-9 run over the opening seven minutes of the second half and slashing the Bulldogs' cushion to just 47-43. Wingate rebuilt a seven-point lead before the Trojans trimmed the deficit to just four on two more occasions, but the Black and Gold were unable to overtake the Bulldogs, as they withstood each challenge down the stretch.
AU stayed within three possessions the rest of the way and after Wingate took a 70-61 edge with 3:43 on the clock, senior Kevin Simpson and Livingston sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around two free throws by Wingate to get AU within five with 1:24 remaining. With the Trojans forced to foul in the final moments, Wingate's Emarius Logan was a perfect 4-of-4 to help hold off the Trojans.
• AU has won four of its last six decisions.
• The Trojans slipped to 9-3 at home.
• Wingate won the rebounding battle, 42-30, and pulled down 14 offensive boards.
The Trojans open a two-game homestand by traveling to preseason league favorite Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday. AU will be looking to earn a split of the regular-season series after dropping a double-overtime, 102-101, decision to the Railsplitters in mid-December. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.