ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The guard duo of Shawn Benard and Quin Nottingham combined to pour in 52 points and the Trojans nearly erased a nine-point deficit inside the final 97 seconds, but fell, 78-72, to Lander in their season opener at the Region Crossover Tournament, hosted by Flagler, Friday afternoon.
"Unfortunately I didn't have the guys ready to compete on the glass this afternoon," said Anderson head coach Jeff Brookman. "We simply did not come up with the rebounds we needed in order to win the game. Lander outplayed us on the glass and that was the difference."
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
In his first regular-season appearance with the Black and Gold, Nottingham netted 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. The Champaign, Ill., native, also shared team-high rebounding honors with six boards. Benard added 24 points on 8-of-12 accuracy from the field, while dishing out four assists and swiping a pair of steals. Sophomore forward Satchel Hester recorded eight points and grabbed five rebounds, with junior Josh Livingston grabbing six rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing by four midway through the first half, the Trojans scored 10 unanswered points to turn a 17-13 deficit into a 23-17 lead with 7:27 left in the opening stanza.
But the Bearcats countered with an 18-4 outburst to stake an eight-point advantage with less than two minutes on the clock and held a 37-34 halftime lead.
The Trojans chipped away over the opening four minutes of the second half and knotted the score for the first of four times in the second half, at 45-45, with 16:36 on the clock.
The score was still deadlocked at 51-51 two minutes later, before Lander reeled off a decisive 11-3 run over the next five minutes to take a lead it would not relinquish. Still trailing by nine, 74-65, at the 1:37 mark, Nottingham dropped in a jumper to ignite a 7-0 charge by the Trojans that saw them get within just a deuce on Matt Brown's lone 3-pointer of the afternoon. But the Bearcats were a perfect 4-for4 from the free throw line inside the final 27 seconds to fend off the Trojans.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
The Trojans scored 24 points off 16 Lander turnovers.
• The Trojans were 16-of-21 (76.2%) from the charity stripe.
• The Bearcats were 8-of-11 (72.7%) from the charity stripe.
• The Trojans were 24-of-57 (42.1%) from the field.
• The Bearcats were 32-of-70 (45.7%) from the field.
• Lander out-rebounded the Trojans, 50-27, on the afternoon and pulled down 19 offensive rebounds.
Anderson will get back on the hardwood, Saturday night, when the Trojans are slated to square off against the host Saints. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Flagler Gym.