ANDERSON, S.C. – With five players reaching double figures in the scoring column, the Anderson men's basketball team wrapped up its five-game homestand by outrunning Lees-McRae, 93-79, in nonconference action, Sunday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Following a 10-day layoff, Anderson (8-4) stretched its win streak to three games and has won seven of its last nine decisions, while Lees-McRae (5-8), which was coming off a 14-day layoff of its own, suffered its first loss in three outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Senior guard Randall Shaw led all scorers with a season-high 27 points and pulled down a season-best eight rebounds, while handing out two assists and swiping a pair of steals. Senior guard Kevin Simpson added a season-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Josh Livingston netted 16 points and grabbed six boards, with senior guard Andrew Boynton tossing in 12 points.
Senior forward Jeremy Bouton scored 10 points and dished out a career-high six assists, while pulling down six rebounds. Junior guard Shawn Benard handed out a game-high nine assists, while recording two steals and equaled a season-high with three blocked shots.
HOW IT HAPPENED
With both teams coming off lengthy layoffs, neither squad was able to find the bottom of the net until Boynton broke the ice with the first of his two 3-pointers nearly three minutes into the game. Lees-McRae quickly countered 10 seconds later and knotted the score for the only time of the contest on a traditional three-point play. Boynton again connected on a 3-pointer from the left side at the 15:16 mark to give AU a three-point advantage and the Trojans would not trail the rest of the way.
Back-to-back treys from deep in the left corner, first from Livingston and then from Simpson, propelled the Black and Gold to a double-digit, 21-10, cushion and freshman Satchel Hester capped a 9-0 run by sinking 1-of-2 from the free throw line midway through the half. The Bobcats responded with seven unanswered points in less than a minute before Shaw posted a traditional three-point play to halt the LMC comeback.
With AU holding a 29-23 lead at the 4:07 mark, Boynton and freshman Foster Bridges each dropped in four points apiece to fuel a 9-1 surge and the Trojans held a 42-26 halftime lead.
Lees-McRae opened the second half with five straight points, but AU never wavered and answered each challenge from the Bobcats, with the Trojans knocking down five 3-pointers in a four-minute span at one point.
The Bobcats trimmed AU's lead to just 66-59 with more than 10 minutes left in the contest, but the Trojans responded with a 12-5 surge and held a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
The Trojans pulled down a season-high 13 offensive rebounds.
• The Trojans twelve 3-pointers marked their second-highest tally of the season.
• The Bobcats won the rebounding battle, 42-38.
• AU converted 17 Lees-McRae turnovers into 20 points.
• Led by Shawn Benard's game-high nine assists, the Trojans dished out 21 assists on the afternoon – their second-highest tally of the season.
• The Trojans had five players reach double-figure scoring for the first time this season.
• AU improved to 6-2 in nonconference action, including a 5-1 record against Conference Carolinas' opponents.
• The Trojans improved to 7-1 at home this season – the last time the Trojans won seven of their first eight home contests was during the 2011-12 campaign.
• The game marked AU's first Sunday afternoon contest since falling to Lenoir-Rhyne, 94-85, on Jan. 8, 2017 at the Abney Center.
• The Trojans have swiped at least eight steals in three straight games.
• Shawn Benard has handed out at least four assists in 10 consecutive games.
Anderson opens a four-game road swing – its' longest of the season - when the Trojans travel to the Tar Heel State on Wednesday for a matchup against Wingate. Tip-off versus the Bulldogs is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Cuddy Arena.