DUE WEST, S.C. – Junior forward Josh Livingston connected on a pair of clutch free throws that gave Anderson a one-point lead with 47 seconds on the clock and senior guard Shawn Benard poured in 21 points, including six in the third overtime, as the Anderson men's basketball team rallied to earn its third straight win by outlasting Erskine, 85-82, in three overtimes, Wednesday night at Belk Arena.
Anderson improved to 3-1 on the season with its second straight over the Flying Fleet, while Erskine, which was playing its second game in three days, fell to 2-3 on the season.
"I'm so proud of the guys' effort tonight," said Anderson head coach Jeff Brookman. "We overcame a lot of adversity over the course of the game. While we did not always execute and rebound like we can, the guys got just enough rebounds and made just enough plays down the stretch to win the game."
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior guard Quin Nottingham led all scorers with 26 points, while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. Benard pulled down seven rebounds and handed out a season-high five assists to go along with his scoring effort. Livingston posted his second double-double of the campaign with 11 points and 10 boards, with sophomore forward Satchel Hester adding eight points and six boards before fouling out late.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans held Erskine scoreless for more than two minutes to open the game, as the Flying Fleet missed their first four field goal attempts.
On the other end of the hardwood, AU connected on three of its first four field goals and scored the first six points of the game inside the first 90 seconds. Erskine countered with four straight before Hester drained back-to-back 3-pointers in a 98-second span to give the Trojans a 12-4 advantage with 15:22 on the clock.
After junior guard Alex Keel connected on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe at the 13:36 mark, both teams suffered a mild scoring drought of nearly two minutes. Erskine's Rod Culver snapped the short dry spell with a basket that pulled the Fleet within 15-10. But the Trojans responded with seven unanswered points to claim a double-digit, 22-10, cushion on Benard's sixth point of the night.
After the Fleet pulled within seven with 7:14 on the clock, Nottingham knocked down two consecutive baskets to push the Black and Gold advantage back to 11 points. However, the Fleet used a 7-2 surge to get as close as 28-22 at the final media timeout of the frame.
Following the break, Erskine continued its comeback by capitalizing on a pair of turnovers and three misfires by AU inside the final four minutes to whittle the Trojans' lead to 31-30 at halftime.
Erskine claimed its first lead of the night on senior Jaywaun Washington's jumper at the 19:34 mark and the Fleet quickly built a 34-31 edge before Nottingham's first trey of the night knotted the score for the first time of the night at 34 apiece. Less than two minutes later, Keel's first field goal gave the Trojans a tenuous 38-36 lead.
The Trojans then held Erskine scoreless for nearly two minutes and extended their lead to 45-39 with 13:39 on the clock. Six minutes later, the Fleet trimmed AU's lead to just 50-49 in the low-scoring affair before Livingston's first 3-pointer gave the Trojans some breathing room with a four-point lead. Erskine countered with five straight points to regain a brief lead, with Nottingham knocking down a jumper to give AU a 55-54 edge.
Erskine's Uzziah Dawkins dropped in a layup with 3:36 left to give EC a 56-55 lead and the Fleet garnered a three-point lead less than a minute later, but Nottingham made two free throws and following a dunk by Erskine junior Caleb Shackleford, the Trojans' Mason Carver nailed his second trey of the night to even the score at 60 apiece. Nottingham then countered a Dawkins layup with a pair of free throws to send the game into the first overtime.
The Trojans scored the first basket of overtime, but while AU struggled offensively by misfiring on its next four field goal attempts, Nottingham's rare four-point play with just less than a minute on the clock evened the score for the seventh time of the night.
Neither team was able to capitalize on opportunities in the final seconds and the contest went into the second overtime with the score even at 68-68.
Shackleford's basket with 2:28 in the second OT snapped a 70-70 tie and the Fleet went 5-of-6 from the free throw line inside the final three minutes to claim a late 77-74 lead, but Nottingham's 3-pointer just before the buzzer sent the contest into its third overtime.
The Fleet struck first with three straight points, but AU answered with four unanswered points to take its first lead since the 4:48 mark of the second half. Shackleford answered with two free throws on the other end to give Erskine a brief, 82-81, advantage with less than a minute left, but Livingston dropped in both free throws with 47 ticks remaining and Benard sealed the win with two free throws with 15 seconds on the clock.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
Nottingham was 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the final three minutes of regulation and overtime … Benard was 6-of-7 from the charity stripe in the third overtime … Livingston was 2-for-2 in the third overtime.
• The game was Erskine's second-straight overtime contest and the Trojans' first overtime game since Dec. 12, 2018.
• It was AU's first triple overtime contest since joining the South Atlantic Conference for the 2010-11 season.
• Erskine won the rebounding battle, 56-42.
• The score was tied 12 times and the game featured 10 lead changes.
• AU forced 20 turnovers, while committing a season-high 21 turnovers.
• Junior guard Quin Nottingham entered the game leading the South Atlantic Conference in scoring, at 26.0 points per contest.
• The game marked AU's only contest during a 13-day span in the month of November.
• The Trojans own a 23-16 advantage in the overall series with the Flying Fleet that dates back to the 1996-97 season.
• AU has won two straight over the Flying Fleet.
• The Trojans improved to 2-0 against teams from the Conference Carolinas.
• The Trojans increased their lead in the battle for the coveted Beville Cup to 5-0, with the 1 1/2 points for the Academic Success Rate still up in the air.
• The Fleet were in the bonus with more than 12 minutes remaining in the contest.
• The Trojans were 18-for-22 (81.8%) from the charity stripe, while Erskine was 21-for-28 (75.0%)
Anderson will wrap up its season-opening, six-game road swing by opening South Atlantic Conference action with a trip to preseason conference favorite Queens on Nov. 26 and league-newcomer UVa-Wise on Nov. 30. Tip-off in Charlotte against the Royals is slated for 7:30 p.m.