Trojans Close Strong to Earn First Win of the Early Season

Trojans Close Strong to Earn First Win of the Early Season

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Anderson University men's basketball team wrapped up action at Flagler's Regional Crossover Tournament with a convincing, 90-75, win over the host Saints, Saturday night at Flagler Gymnasium.

Anderson improved to 1-1 on the early season, while Flagler dropped to 1-1.

"I am so proud of the effort and competitive spirit that we played with the entire 40 minutes," said Anderson head coach Jeff Brookman. "We had some outstanding individual performances. However, it was our defense and rebounding that won the game. From top to bottom the group was focused on bouncing back. This was an excellent true road win."

Junior guard Quin Nottingham led all scorers with 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting from the field, including 6-of-7 from the free throw line. The Champaign, Ill., native also dished out a team-high five assists and swiped two steals. Senior guard Shawn Benard added 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting and was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. A native of Mobile, Ala., Benard handed out four assists and nearly posted a double-double after pulling down eight rebounds.

Junior forward Josh Livingston notched his second career double-double by scoring 17 points and grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds. He went 7-of-13 from the field and knocked down three 3-pointers. Sophomore Satchel Hester tallied nine points and five rebounds.

First Half
The score was tied five times over the opening 20 minutes and neither team was able to build more than a four-point lead.

Flagler crept out to a 27-23 edge with just more than six minutes left in the half, but the Trojans stood firm and evened the score two more times, at 32 apiece and at 34-34.

The Saints' Logan Swackhammer dropped in 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to give Flagler a brief, 35-34, lead before Hester drained a trey to give AU the 37-35 advantage with 1:03 on the clock. Swackhammer answered with a 3-pointer of his own, with Benard sinking a trey as time expired to give the Black and Gold a 40-38 halftime lead.

Second Half
A jumper by Nottingham with less than two minutes gone in the second stanza gave the Trojans a 44-42 advantage and they didn't trail the rest of the night.

Later leading, 51-49. AU reeled off a 9-2 run that was capped by an Alex Keel trey that gave the Trojans a 60-51 lead. The Saints responded by cutting AU's lead to just 60-58 midway through the half, but a layup by Benard ignited a 20-9 outburst and the Trojans steadily pulled away at the end.

The score was deadlocked six times and the lead changed hands 19 times.

• AU out-rebounded the Saints, 39-37, on the night.
• Each team forced nine turnovers.
• The Trojans' largest lead was 18 points.
Quin Nottingham is averaging 31.0 points per game.
• The Trojans are 9-9 in nine overall appearances in season-opening Conference Challenges.
Josh Livingston is averaging 10.5 rebounds per game.
• AU evened the overall series with Flagler at 1-1.
Shawn Benard is averaging 4.0 assists per contest.

Following a three-day layoff, the Trojans resume their season-opening, six-game road swing when they visit North Greenville on Wednesday. Tip-off in Tigerville, S.C., is set for 7 p.m.