Hot-shooting Anderson upends Eagles, 90-72; C-N draws Wingate to open SAC tourney
ANDERSON, S.C. – No. 21 Anderson made 14 three-point field goals and shot 50 percent from beyond the arc to keep the Eagles from upsetting back-to-back ranked opponents in a 90-72 win on Saturday afternoon at Abney Center.
With the loss, the Eagles draw the No. 6 seed in the 2012 Food Lions South Atlantic Conference Tournament, which begins Wednesday. The Eagles face the No. 3 seed, Wingate University, in Cuddy Arena in Wingate, N.C.
Anderson opens conference tournament quarterfinal action Wednesday night as the No. 1 seed and will play host to eighth-seeded Catawba at the Abney Athletic Center. Tip-off versus the Indians is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Anderson (22-4, 17-1 SAC) extended its win streak to eight games, their longest of the season, and has won 15 of its last 16, while Carson-Newman (15-13, 8-10 SAC) closed the regular season by dropping two of its last three games.
Fresh off its upset of 12th-ranked Lincoln Memorial three nights ago, Carson-Newman was looking to dampen the Trojans' sendoff of six seniors, with the first half featuring 11 lead changes and five ties and neither team was able to build more than a four-point lead through the first 15 minutes of action.
Leading, 38-33, following a 3-pointer by Carson-Newman sophomore guard Ishmael Sanders with 2:12 left in the first half, the Trojans closed the frame by sandwiching a pair of treys around a basket by the Eagles' Kevin Leatherwood run to take a 44-35 lead into intermission. Senior guard Nick Trull connected on his third 3-pointer of the afternoon and following Leattherwood's jumper, senior Tyrell McDowell drained his third triple to set the nine-point margin.
The Trojans opened a double-digit, 54-42, lead at the 16:22 mark of the second half and held the margin the rest of the way.
Anderson held a 40-27 rebounding edge, while both teams shot nearly the same from the field, with Anderson connecting on 32-of-67 (47.8%) and Carson-Newman posting 47.4 percent (27-of-57).
Trull equaled his career high with seven treys and led all scorers with 27 points, while fellow senior Taylor Shugart added 19 points. McDowell netted a career-high 16 points and shared team-high rebounding honors with seven boards. Junior guard Denzail Jones tallied 15 points and a game-high six assists.
2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament
Wednesday, February 29
Food Lion SAC Tournament, Quarterfinals, Home of Higher Seed
No. 8 Catawba at No. 1 Anderson, 7 pm
No. 7 Tusculum at No. 2 Lincoln Memorial, 7 pm
No. 6 Carson-Newman at No. 3 Wingate, 8 pm
No. 5 Lenoir-Rhyne at No. 4 Newberry, 7 pm
Saturday, March 3
Food Lion SAC Tournament, Semifinals, Tarlton Complex, Hickory, N.C.
Catawba/Anderson winner vs. Lenoir-Rhyne/Newberry winner, noon
Tusculum/Lincoln Memorial winner vs. Carson-Newman/Wingate winner, 2:30 pm
Sunday, March 4
Food Lion SAC Tournament Championship, Tarlton Complex, Hickory, N.C.
Semifinal winners, 2 pm