Trojans Hold off Bears to Win SAC Season Opener; 64-54

Trojans Hold off Bears to Win SAC Season Opener; 64-54

HICKORY, N.C. – The Anderson University women's basketball team used balanced scoring to win its South Atlantic Conference season opener over Lenoir-Rhyne, 64-54, Saturday afternoon at Shuford Gymnasium.

With the win, Anderson moves to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the SAC while the Bears fall to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in conference action.

The Trojans placed five players in double-digits with sophomore Alexy Mollenhauer scoring a team-high 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Senior Kaylee Koerperich and sophomore Madison Baggett each scored 12 points while pulling down six and five rebounds, respectively. Forward Alexis Dillard and junior Ace Easter each chipped in 10 points apiece with Dillard ripping down 10 rebounds to record her third double-double of the season for the Black and Gold.

Capping off the Trojans' scoring was junior Erika Martin, sophomore Cassie Ketchum and freshman Taylor Hair with a bucket apiece. Hair also grabbed three rebounds and was credited with a blocked shot in 14 minutes of action.

Lenoir-Rhyne placed two players in double-figures with Madi Suddreth scoring a game-high 17 points while Marie Ritchie netted 11 points for the Bears. Suddreth shared team-high rebounding honors with Kendall Toinetta after recording eight apiece.

The Trojans won the opening quarter 24-13 while the Bears flipped the script in the second frame outscoring Anderson 17-7 to pull within one heading into the half, 31-30.

Anderson came out strong to open the third period pushing its lead to 11, before the Bears clawed back to cut the lead to six with 2:45 to go in the third. However, the Black and Gold were able to extend their lead back to double-digits (10) heading into the fourth period.

The Trojans staved off each subtle attack by the Bears allowing Lenoir-Rhyne to come no closer than eight points in the final stanza. Anderson led as much as 12 on four different occasions before claiming the, 64-54, road win.

Head Coach Jonathon Barbaree's Thoughts: "Really happy to get that first conference win under our belt. It is always nice to win on the road no matter where you play. We have to continue to build on our defense and let the offense come as we move through the season."

-Dillard's 10 defensive rebounds propels her into the second slot for all-time defensive career rebounds (508) at Anderson. Breonda Shannon (2009-13) holds the top-spot with 519 career defensive rebounds.
-The Trojans have won 11 straight over the Bears.
- Anderson's defense held Lenoir-Rhyne to 54 points which ties for its season low.
Anderson returns home on Wednesday after a five-game road swing to host SAC opponent Carson-Newman. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Abney Athletic Center.