The Trojans opened basketball season by stunning No. 2 (D2) Flagler 80-77 behind an electric crowd Friday night at Abney Athletic Center.
“What a way to start the season,” said Anderson head coach Jeff Brookman. “I am so proud of the guys and our team. This game was a complete team effort from top to bottom. Everyone was locked in from the beginning and to go toe-to-toe with a really good team like Flagler was fun to see. The unfortunate part is we don’t get to enjoy it long as we have to get ready for another tough Peach Belt opponent in Lander. Time to move on to the next. Thanks to all the fans and support at the game. It was incredible.”
The win marks the Trojans' 1st over a ranked opponent at home since the 2008-09 season.
Senior guard Quin Nottingham and transfer forward Parker Dortch each pitched in 18 points. Senior forward Jalen Hillery offered a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and also had 4 assists.
On Saturday, the Trojans defeated Lander 76-71, in overtime, behind Dortch and Nottingham's combined 58 points at Abney Athletic Center.
“I could not be more excited for the guys to start with a couple of really good wins against two quality Peach Belt (Conference) opponents,” said Brookman. “. It was definitely the tale of two halves today as we did not play a complete first half. The second half we executed better on both ends of the floor. Our defense was really good, we got out to shooters and we communicated at a high level. We will enjoy these two wins tonight and be ready to focus on the start of conference play.”
Dortch had a game-high 30 points and also pulled down 10 rebounds. Nottingham contributed 28 points.
The Trojans will begin a portion of its conference schedule this Wednesday as they travel to Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tenn.
The women's basketball team did not find the same success as its male counterparts over the weekend.
On Friday, the Trojans jumped out to a 16-point lead over Flagler after a quarter of play but still fell to a final of 66-60 in its opener.
Shameka McNeill led AU with 13 points. Taylor Hair added 11 points.
Flagler's surge toward victory came in the 3rd quarter when it outscored AU 27-8. The Trojans did not recover.
"A tell of two halves for us and a great learning game," said head coach Jonathon Barbaree. "Our execution failed us in the second half, after two players went down with injuries. That's where the learning part comes in, the next player has to be ready."
On Saturday, the Trojan women came out firing in the 1st half against Clayton State. After 2 quarters of play, the game was knotted at 30 apiece.
But again, Clayton State used a 3rd quarter surge to pull away from the Trojans. Clayton State outscored AU 29-10 in the 3rd quarter and 43-18 in the 2nd half.
Final score: 73-48.
"Tough two games for us, but on the positive side some young players got a lot of opportunity to get some valuable minutes," said Barbaree. "It will be up to us to see how we grow with those lessons as other players try to get healthy the next few weeks."
Diamond McDowell led the black and gold with 10 points while pulling down 6 rebounds.
The women's team will also begin a portion of its conference schedule as it travels to Lincoln Memorial this Wednesday.
The AU men's soccer team fell to Coker 1-0 Friday in the SAC semis.
AU entered the match as the highest seed left in the tournament.
Gabin Guillou scored the winning goal for Coker in the 82nd minute. Coker moves on to the SAC Championship where it faces Mars Hill.
As for the Trojans, they'll turn their attention to the NCAA Regional Championships beginning Nov. 18.