ANDERSON, S.C. – The Mars Hill men's basketball team (7-10, 2-8 SAC) fell to Anderson (11-7, 5-5 SAC) on the road Wednesday evening by a score of 87-75.
With 8:36 elapsed in the first half, Mars Hill found themselves trailing by two points. A Kevin Simpson three-pointer extended the Trojan lead to five before being answered by a Javonte Cook layup to cut the deficit back down to three.
A 7-0 run from Anderson built their lead to 10 with under 10 minutes to play in the half. The Trojans extended their lead to 11 with under seven minutes left in the opening frame and continued to hold Mars Hill at bay down the stretch. Down by 14 with 2:50 to play in the half, Mars Hill scored five of the next seven points to pull within 11 before the buzzer sounded.
The Trojans were led offensively by Josh Livingston who scored nine points, going 4-of-5 from the floor. Kevin Simpson added eight points, followed by Gage Ellis' seven. Mars Hill was led by Justen Hartfield's seven points. Cook and Ja'Shawn Brooks each added six in the half.
Anderson jumped out to an early 5-0 run and took seven of the first nine points to hold a 16-point lead. Randall Shaw was responsible for six of the first eight Trojans' points. The Trojans continued to extend their lead over the first eight minutes of the half, up by as many as 24 points.
With 10:15 left in the contest and trailing 67-46, the duo of Cook and Brooks led the Lions on a 7-0 run to pull within 15 points. Brooks would go on to score 11 points in less than three minutes, helping the Lions close the gap and trail by 11 with 6:32 remaining.
The Lions clawed their way back within nine off of an Austin Gilyard three-pointer, but Anderson strung together an 8-2 run to reestablish their 15-point lead with 3:25 left in the contest. With under two minutes remaining, Mars Hill went on a 9-0 run, but the large Anderson lead remained intact as the Lions fell by a score of 87-75.
Shaw dominated offensively for Anderson, scoring 25 of his game-high 29 points in the half, going 6-of-10 from the floor and hitting 10-of-13 free throws. Jeremy Bouton scored 15, missing only one shot in the half. Brooks scored 17 of his team-high 23 in the half. Hartfield added 10 points.
The Lions return to Stanford Arena on Saturday, January 26th, hosting the Wolves of Newberry. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.