ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson freshman Christian Jeffords came off the bench to pour in a career-high 37 points to help lead the Anderson men's basketball team past Newberry, 104-93, in South Atlantic Conference action, Saturday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson improved to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the conference, while showing no ill-effects of a six-day layoff and snapping a two-game skid. The Trojans handed the Wolves their third road loss of the season, while improving to 2-1 at home. Newberry (5-4, 1-3 SAC), which has eclipsed the century mark five times already this season and entered the contest averaging more than 100 points per game, dropped its second straight decision.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Trojans owned a 42-33 rebounding advantage and outscored Newberry, 44-28, in the paint and never trailed.
Jeffords was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, including five 3-pointers, in 11 minutes of first-half action and finished by going 12-of-13 from the field on the night. Guard Randall Shaw added 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting and narrowly missed recording his first career double-double by collecting a career-high nine rebounds. The sophomore from Greenville, S.C. also dished out four assists and swiped three steals. Freshman center Carlos Dotson posted his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Shawn Benard added 13 points and a game-high five assists, while sophomore forward Jeremy Bouton tallied eight points, four assists and three steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Shaw sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers from the right side around a jumper from Newberry's James Stepp to boost the Trojans to a 15-7 lead inside the first five minutes of action, while freshman Chance Prandy's lone trey of the night later ignited a 14-3 outburst. Dotson sandwiched layups around a 3-pointer from Jeffords to fuel the surge, with Anderson opening a 39-21 advantage at the 7:24 mark of the first half.
The Trojans built a 22-point cushion with less than three minutes left before halftime and took a 62-42 lead into intermission.
AU pushed out to their largest lead of the contest, 71-48, on a
Prandy free throw with more than 13 minutes remaining in the game, but Newberry chipped away and trimmed the Trojan advantage to just 94-90 with more than two minutes left.
Following an AU turnover, the Wolves were unable to convert a pair of free throw attempts and connected on just a 3-pointer in the final two minutes, while Benard dropped in a layup to give the Trojans a two-possession lead with under two minutes remaining.
Jeffords added a layup and senior Mason Spease connected on the trey for Newberry's final score, while Jeffords answered on the other end with a 3-pointer to give AU a 101-93 edge inside the final minute.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Trojans shot 73.3 percent (22-of-30) from the field in the first half, including 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from beyond the arc.
• The 104 points were the most scored by the Black and Gold since defeating Mars Hill, 106-76, at the Abney Center on Feb. 17, 2014.
• The 62 first-half points were the most scored by AU in a half since posting 67 points in the second half of a 100-89 win over Coker in the semifinals of the 2014 SAC Tournament.
• Jeffords' 37 points were the most since Chandler Hash erupted for 44 points in the SAC Tournament win over Coker on March 8, 2014.
• The Trojans equaled a season-high with ten 3-pointers on the night.
• Jeffords' nine treys equaled the 10th-highest total in the conference record books.
• The Trojans handed out a season-high 24 assists.
Anderson will have little time to rest, as the Trojans visit NCAA Division I College of Charleston for a 2 p.m. tip-off Sunday at the North Charleston Coliseum.