TIGERVILLE, S.C. – The Anderson University men's basketball team shot better than 61 percent in the second half and rode a late offensive outburst that sealed the victory, as the Trojans defeated North Greenville, 75-63, in nonconference action, Wednesday night at Hayes Gymnasium.
"We definitely were not ready to play in the first half," said Anderson head coach Jeff Brookman. "We weren't focused on what we needed to do in order to win on the road. I thought we regrouped at halftime and finished the game like we should have started. Wins on the road are not easy to get."
Anderson improved to 2-1 on the season with its second straight win, while North Greenville (0-3) is still seeking its first victory of the season.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior forward Josh Livingston poured in a career-high 23 points and pulled down five rebounds, while junior guard Quin Nottingham netted 18 points, including 14 in the decisive second half. Senior Shawn Benard recorded 17 points, including 13 in the second stanza. The guard from Mobile, Ala., also pulled down seven rebounds, with four coming on the offensive glass. He shared game-high honors with three assists. Junior guard Alex Keel grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and shared game-high honors with three assists, while swiping two steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening half was a back-and forth battle that featured five ties and seven lead changes, with neither team able to build more than a six-point lead through the first 20 minutes.
With both teams struggling to find the bottom of the net through the first eight minutes, the score was knotted at 13-13 with just less than 12 minutes on the clock. The Crusaders then rattled off a 7-1 run over a three-minute span and pushed out to a 20-14 edge. But AU's Satchel Hester sparked a 9-1 surge by draining a 3-pointer and the Trojans regained a brief 23-21 lead at the 6:09 mark.
There were three more lead changes over the final five minutes of the half and the score was deadlocked at 34-34 at the half.
Nottingham dropped in the first basket of the second half to break the deadlock, but North Greenville responded by scoring five straight points and the Trojans were unable to regain the advantage until midway through the half.
With AU trailing, 55-54, and less than 10 minutes on the clock, Nottingham connected on a jumper that gave the Back and Gold their first lead since the 19:34 mark of the second half. The basket triggered a mammoth 21-4 scoring run by the Trojans over the next eighth minutes that saw AU push out to a 75-59 advantage inside the final minute.
Livingston and Nottingham fueled the outburst by scoring six points apiece during the breakout, while Benard chipped in five points.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Trojans pulled down a season-high 10 offensive rebounds and forced a season-high 19 turnovers.
• The largest lead by either team in the first half was six points.
• The Trojans have won eight straight past the Crusaders and lead the overall series, 10-3.
• This was AU's first appearance at Hayes Gymnasium since the 2012-13 season.
• AU was 8-of-17 (47.1%) from the free throw line, while North Greenville was 17-of-24 (70.8%).
• Junior Quin Nottingham entered the game ranked third in the nation in scoring, at 31.0 points per game.
• The Trojans outrebounded NGU, 35-24.
• AU shot 50.8% from the field (32-of-63).
• The win marked AU's second straight double-figure victory.
Anderson continues its six-game, season opening road swing by traveling to Due West, S.C., and squaring off against longtime rival Erskine on Nov. 20. Tip-off versus the Flying Fleet at Belk Arena slated for 7 p.m.