ANDERSON, S.C. – Mars Hill lost at SAC rival Anderson 88-76 in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action Wednesday night in the Abney Athletic Center. The Lions fell to 2-14 on the season and 0-9 in the league. The Trojans improved to 5-11 on the year, 3-5 in the SAC.
Bennett Wilson and Austin Gilyard led the Lions' offense scoring 26 and 21 points in the contest, respectively. Wilson added six rebounds and three steals. Luke Van-Rijn followed with a team high eight rebounds while Brandon Watkins recorded seven points and six rebounds. Mars Hill hit 40.3 % (25-62) of their field goals, 36.4% (8-22) of their three-pointers and 75% (18-24) of their free throw attempts.
Gage Ellis led the Trojans with 19 points and six boards followed by Randall Shaw with 17 points. Jeremy Bouton and Josh Livingston added 13 points apiece in the win. Livingston recorded a double-double pulling down a game high 11 rebounds. Anderson connected on 46.4% (32-69) of their shots from the floor, 33.3% (8-24) of their shots from behind the arc and 80% (16-20) of their foul shots. The Trojans scored 23 points off Mars Hill turnovers and scored 24 second chance points.
Neither team led by more than three points during the first 10 minutes of the game until Shaw nailed a three pointer with 10:36 left in the first period to give the Trojans a 15-14 lead. Anderson would never trail again. Anderson ended the first half on a 30-14 run to enjoy a 17-point lead (45-28) with 39 seconds left in the first frame. The Trojans took a 47-32 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Trojans began the second half on a 6-1 run to enjoy their largest lead of 20 points in the game (53-33) with 16:03 left in regulation after Ellis hit a jumper. Mars Hill outscored the Trojans 35-24 over the next eight minutes of play to trim the deficit to nine points with 2:23 left in the contest after Brandon Watkins hit a pair of foul shots but that was as close as the Lions would get.
Mars Hill will close out their three-game road stretch this week at SAC foe Catawba on Saturday, January 13. Tip-off in Goodman Gym is set for 4 p.m.