GAFFNEY, S.C. – A big second half propelled Limestone to a 79-72 win past Anderson in nonconference men's basketball action, Wednesday night at the Timken Center.
Anderson (1-2) wrapped up its season-opening three-game road swing with the setback, while Limestone improved to 3-0 on the young season with its third consecutive win over a team from the South Atlantic Conference.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior guard Shawn Benard led all scorers with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out a team-high four assists. Sophomore forward Josh Livingston added a career-high 17 points and pulled down six rebounds, with senior guard Randall Shaw scoring 15 points. Senior guard Gage Ellis netted 12 points and fellow senior Jeremy Bouton recorded a season-high 10 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Fueled by Livingston's nine points, the Trojans roared out to a 16-3 lead inside the first six minutes of the contest. Limestone countered with six unanswered points over the next 73 seconds, and while Shaw slowed the Saints with a layup, Limestone's run stretched to a 14-4 surge, as the Saints climbed within 20-17 with just more than nine minutes on the clock.
The Trojans responded by outscoring Limestone, 6-2, over the next three-plus minutes and rebuilt a seven-point advantage twice. With AU leading 26-19 at the 5:50 mark, Limestone went on a 9-2 run and knotted the score at 28 apiece with more than two minutes on the clock. Shaw and Ellis followed by dropping in back-to-back buckets and AU lead, 32-28, at the break.
Livingston opened the second stanza is similar fashion, as the Myrtle Beach, S.C., native drilled a 3-pointer to boost the AU advantage to 35-28 inside the opening two minutes.
Limestone continued to hover within striking distance and posted seven consecutive points midway through the frame to turn a six-point deficit into a 54-53 Saints' lead with 9:42 remaining. After Bouton nailed 1-of-2 from the line to knot the score at 54-54, the saints rattled off a 17-4 outburst to claim a 71-58 lead with less than five minutes left.
Benard then scored eight consecutive points to pull the Trojans within just five, at 71-66, with 2:57 left, but the Saints held off the late comeback and made just enough free throws (3-for-8) inside the final moments to hold off the late comeback.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Trojans saw four players reach double-figure scoring for the second straight game.
• Limestone edged the Trojans, 40-36 in the rebounding battle.
• Each team scored 10 points off turnovers.
• The Trojans are 1-1 against teams from the Conference Carolinas this season.
• Senior guard Randall Shaw is now in sixth place in the school record books with 1,320 career points. He needs 14 points to surpass former standout Denzail Jones (2009-13) for fifth place.
Anderson opens a three-game homestand by playing host to Erskine in the Trojans' home opener, Saturday at the Abney Athletic Center. Tip-off versus the Flying Fleet is set for 4 p.m.