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Pioneers secure key 74-66 road win at Anderson

Pioneers secure key 74-66 road win at Anderson

ANDERSON, S.C. --- Tariq Jenkins poured in 18 points including a pair of key three-pointers in a second half run to lead the Tusculum University men's basketball team to a 74-66 South Atlantic Conference victory at Anderson University Saturday afternoon.

The Pioneers (16-10, 11-7 SAC) have won five of their last six games and complete the season sweep over the Trojans (15-9, 10-8 SAC) to take over sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings.  TU wins at the Abney Athletic Center for only the second time in 11 trips to the Anderson campus. Tusculum also records only the second season sweep of the Trojans since the series began in 2007.

Jenkins also tallied three assists and three steals off the bench, while Trenton Gibson posted 17 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double this year. Dillon Smith finished with 15 points and five boards, while Caleb Hodnett and Brandon Mitchell tallied nine points apiece.

Anderson's Shawn Benard led all scorers with 19 points, going 12-of-15 from the free throw line. Quin Nottingham and Jason Edwards contributed 12 points apiece, while Satchel Hester and Crosby James finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Anderson took an 8-2 lead to start the game but TU responded with eight straight points on three-pointers by Zack Dixon and Gibson and a layup from Brandon Mitchell as the Pioneers led 19-14.  TU led 21-16 before the Trojans went on a 10-2 spurt to go up on top 26-23. The Pioneers scored the final eight points of the period to take a 32-28 lead at halftime.

An 8-2 run to start the second period gave AU 36-34 lead following a three-point play from Benard with 18:06 remaining.

With AU out in front at 43-42 with 12:22 left on the clock, Tusculum scored eight straight points to regain the lead 50-43 following the second of two triples from Jenkins at the 10:45 mark of the period.

The Trojans trimmed the TU lead to three at 51-48 with 9:20 remaining and to four points on two occasions including 61-57 with 3:42 to go. But an 11-3 run over the next three minutes pushed the TU lead back out to a dozen (72-60) to put the game away.

Tusculum finished the game shooting 42 percent from the field including 11-of-24 in the second half (46%). TU shot well from beyond the three-point arc going 9-of-17 (53%) and went 21-of-29 from the free throw line for 72 percent.

The Pioneers held a 39-34 edge in rebounding and out-scored the AU bench by a 24-10 margin.

Tusculum will host Carson-Newman this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. for Pack the Arena Night. The Pioneers will be looking to avenge last month's 72-68 road loss to the Eagles.

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