WISE, Va. – Offensive struggles hampered the Anderson University men's basketball team through much of the game, as the Trojans wrapped up their season-opening, six-game road swing with a 90-75 setback to UVa-Wise, Saturday afternoon at the David J. Prior Convocation Center.
Anderson (3-3, 0-2 SAC) erased nearly all of a nine-point second half deficit with more than seven minutes left in the contest, but was unable to complete the comeback and suffered its second straight loss.
UVa-Wise improved to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play with its fourth win in five outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior forward Josh Livingston led four Trojans in double figures with 21 points and narrowly missed recording his third double-double of the season after pulling down a game-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Quin Nottingham, who was saddled with early foul trouble, added 20 points, including 13 in the second half. He shared game-high honors by handing out four assists on the afternoon. Senior guard Shawn Benard recorded 12 points, four assists and a pair of steals, with sophomore forward Satchel Hester notching a season-high 10 points and six rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Livingston posted two early baskets for the Trojans and his second straight 3-pointer, which came at the 17:44 mark, gave the Trojans their largest lead of the game, at 9-4.
Anderson then committed four turnovers and suffered through a scoring drought of nearly five minutes that enabled UVa-Wise to score 11 unanswered points. Hester's old-fashioned three-point play with just less than 13 minutes on the clock slowed down the Cavalier surge, but behind a blistering 61 percent shooting percentage, the Cavaliers opened up a double-digit, 31-21, cushion at the 6:18 mark.
The Cavs built a 12-point advantage twice – the second at 35-23 with 5:01 on the clock – before Livingston and Hester combined to score AU's next 13 points and the duo fueled a furious 15-3 run over the remaining five minutes. Benard capped the rally by dropping in two free throws with just one second on the clock and the two teams went to intermission deadlocked at 38 apiece.
UVa-Wise scored the first six points of the second frame, with Hester breaking the ice with a jumper and getting the Trojans back into the scoring column nearly three minutes into the second half.
But the Cavaliers stayed hot on their home hardwood and while AU misfired on its next five shots, UVa-Wise went 5-for-7, while opening the half with a 19-2 run.
Trailing by 17 at the second media timeout, the Trojans battled back within 57-49 by scoring nine unanswered points of their own just prior to the next media break. Nottingham stretched the run to 11 straight points with a jumper and AU was back within two possessions with 8:11 on the clock.
Moments later, the Cavaliers rebuilt a 60-51 advantage before AU again stormed back behind seven consecutive points and climbed within a deuce on Benard's layup with more than seven minutes left in the contest.
But UVa-Wise countered with a decisive 14-2 outburst to take a 74-60 lead with 3:43 remaining and the Trojans were unable to carve any further into the Cavaliers' lead.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
The Trojans out-rebounded UVa-Wise, 40-34, and pulled down a season-high 17 offensive rebounds.
• The game marked the first meeting between the two teams in program history.
• The Cavaliers cooled off, but still shot 49.1 percent from the field. The Trojans shot 40.0 percent from the field.
• The Trojans slipped to 4-2 on the road.
• The Trojans have handed out double-figure assists in five straight games.
• The Trojans have shot better than 81% from the charity stripe in three straight games.
• The Trojans have swiped at least six steals in four straight games.
Following a six-day layoff, Anderson will play host to Carson-Newman in the Trojans' home opener, with AU slated to play four of its next five games in the friendly confines of the Abney Athletic Center. Tip-off versus the Eagles is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.