Anderson Rallies Past Transylvania
Credit Source: Anderson University Athletics
The Anderson University men’s basketball team defeated the visiting Pioneers of Transylvania University 79-75 during the Ravens’ season opener in the O.C. Lewis Gymnasium on Thursday.
Anderson (1-0) entered their first game of the 2020-2021 season while the Pioneers (0-6) recorded their sixth loss of the season so far.
“I am very proud of our team,” said Coach Owen Handy. Although the Ravens recorded the first points, the Pioneers took an early lead and ran with it through much of the first half. With 7 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the first half, the Pioneers lead the Ravens 19-12. A layup by Fred Shropshire brought the Ravens back into action. At the 4:16 mark in the first half, the Ravens had brought the game within four as Shropshire recorded a 3-pointer.
Back-and-forth action ensued from both teams with time ticking down. Every time the Pioneers began to pull away, the Ravens shot right back to keep the score close and fought back every second. A 3-pointer from Cade Gentry with 47 seconds remaining in the half gave the Ravens its first lead since the opening minutes of the game. Shropshire topped off the Ravens with a layup to give them a 32-29 lead over the Pioneers heading into halftime.
With the second half underway, the Ravens held onto their lead while the Pioneers were closing in. The game was tied up at 36 apiece with 16:44 remaining. Both teams fought hard against each other, each trying to build a lead over the other. The Pioneers began to break away with a lead at the 13:50 mark after hitting a three. They went on an eight-point streak over the next three minutes before the Ravens got themselves back on the board with a layup from Gavin Dowling to make the score 53-44 in favor of the Pioneers.
Ronny Williams recorded a layup followed by a free throw with just less than 10 minutes of play remaining. The Ravens dug deep and found themselves closing in on the Pioneers lead. With 5:18 on the clock, Camden Smith hit two free throws to bring the Ravens with one, with the scoreboard reading 62-61 in favor of the Pioneers. The Ravens kept their cool and continued to fight their way over the Pioneers to take back the lead. A free throw with 3:13 remaining from Gentry gave Anderson what they needed to take control of the game. The Ravens continued to build up their lead and keep the Pioneers offense contained with time ticking away. Two final free throws Ronny Williams sealed the deal for the Ravens as they defeated the Pioneers by a final score of 79-75.
Coach Owen Handy had this to say about the final minutes of play, “Down 11 with nine to play, it would have been easy for us to get discouraged and fold up the tent. Instead we dug in, committed to defending and rebounding, and had some really disciplined offensive possessions. We made some mistakes down the stretch but had the mental toughness to focus on the next play.”
The Ravens were 27-of-51 (52.9 percent) in field goals and 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) in 3-pointers, while recording 36 rebounds. The Ravens were on fire off the bench recording 26 points.
Williams led the Ravens with 21 points and four steals to end the night. The senior from Anderson also tallied five rebounds. Shropshire tacked on 15 points, while Smith came off the bench with 11 points and one assist. Gentry scored nine points, while Dowling turned in eight points and a team-high eight rebounds. Jordan Gadis, Drew Luce and Francis Uzorh rounded out Anderson’s scoring effort with five points each. Uzorh also blocked three shots.
Transylvania fought hard, recording 27-of-63 (41.9 percent) field goals and 34 rebounds. The Pioneers capitalized on their second-chance points, ending with 20.
To end the night, Coach Owen Handy said, “We need to enjoy this win, but we also have to understand that this was a much tougher prep for Transylvania than it was for us. We knew their key personnel and we had game film to work from on our scouting report. Now they have game film to work from, a knowledge of what we are going to run, and a better handle on our personnel.”
The Ravens will be back in action on Saturday at 3 p.m. as they hit the road to head down to Lexington, Ky. to take on the Pioneers.