Bouton Leads Trojans Past Erskine in Home Opener

Bouton Leads Trojans Past Erskine in Home Opener

ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior forward Jeremy Bouton scored a career-high 29 points, including 24 in the decisive second half, as the Anderson men's basketball team knocked off longtime rival Erskine, 75-64, in the Trojans' home opener Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.

Anderson improved to 2-2 on the season and opened a three-game homestand by snapping a three-game skid at the hands of the Flying Fleet. Erskine fell to 1-2 on the season.

Bouton drained a career-high seven 3-pointers, including six in the final 20 minutes, and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe, with all six free throws coming in the second half. The Orlando, Fla., native, also swiped two steals. Senior guard Gage Ellis added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting and recorded three steals, with senior guard Randall Shaw posting 14 points and pulling down a season-high seven rebounds on the day. Sophomore forward Josh Livingston dropped in seven points and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds.

First Half
The first half featured five ties and six lead changes, with the largest lead by either team coming as a six-point advantage by the Fleet four times inside the final seven minutes of the frame.

With the score knotted at 15 apiece midway through the half, Erskine posted an 8-2 run to burst out to a 23-17 edge, before Shaw connected on back-to-back 3-pointers in less than two minutes to even the score for the fifth time.

But the Flying Fleet responded with three straight baskets to push back out by six and held a 34-28 halftime edge.

Second Half
Erskine's Austin Venable scored the first bucket of the second half to give the visitors an eight-point lead, but Bouton fueled a run of nine unanswered points by the Trojans and the Black and Gold claimed a brief, 37-36, edge with 17:08 on the clock – their first lead since the 12:53 mark of the first half.

Tyler Brevard knocked down a pair of free throws to regain a brief lead for the Fleet, before Livingston followed by dropping in a layup to give AU a lead it would not surrender, at 39-38, with more than 15 minutes remaining. Erskine closed to within one twice, but the Trojans held firm and used a 9-2 outburst inside the final 6:11 to turn a tenuous 56-53 lead into a double-digit, 65-55, advantage with less than four minutes left.

The Trojans scored 10 points off 14 Flying Fleet turnovers.

• The Trojans improved to 2-1 on the season against teams from Conference Carolinas.
• The Trojans own a 4-1 ½ point lead in the battle for the Beville Cup.
• Anderson edged the Fleet, 39-38, in the rebounding battle.

Anderson continues its three-game homestand by playing host to its fourth Conference Carolinas' opponent of the season when North Greenville invades the Abney Athletic Center, Tuesday night. Tip-off versus the Crusaders is set for 7 p.m.