MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The 14th-ranked Trojans of Anderson University used a late second half run to pull away from the Bulldogs of Wingate University in the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Southeast Regional. The Trojans will now await the winner of #22 University of Montevallo and #24 Lincoln Memorial University. The Championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday night inside BankTrust Arena.
The Trojans improve to 26-5 on the season after defeating the Bulldogs for the third time this season. The Bulldogs fall to 21-12.
Anderson was led by Nick Trull and Denzail Jones who combined for 43 of the Trojans 71 points. Trull had 22 points including four three-pointers while going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Jones had 21 points and was a near-perfect 8-for-10 from the free throw line. He also dished out eight assists in the game.
Wingate was led by Jaime Vaughn who had 19 points while hitting three, three-pointers and nailing 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Chase Smith had 12 points while Odell Turner had nine points and 110 boards before fouling out with just under three minutes to play.
The Trojans shot 41.1 percent from the field including 50.0 percent from three point range. They nailed 17-of-23 from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs shot 34.5 percent from the field and an even better 42.9 percent from three-point range. They also excelled at the free throw line nailing 16-of-17.
The Trojans came out on fire taking a quick 13-2 lead just four minutes into the game as Jo’el Lamb, Nick Trull and Denzail Jones all knocked down threes. After the Bulldogs recovered from the initial shock a Chase Smith three cut the lead to just four with 14:26 to play. The Trojans would go on another run to extend their lead to as much as 13 midway through the half but the Bulldogs had the answer again as Eddie Lewis nailed a three to cut the lead to just four with 6:13 to play. A few possessions later a three by Jaime Vaughn gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game with 1:47 to play, 29-28. Stephen Cobb answered with a three for the Trojans to retake the lead on the very next possession. After both teams traded free throws the half ended with the Trojans ahead 33-31.
The Trojans shot 39.3 percent from the field including 45.5 percent from three-point range. They were a near-perfect 6-for-7 at the free throw line. The Bulldogs shot 32.1 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range. They were a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line.
The Trojans tried to pull away to open the second half but a three-pointer by Vaughn reeled them back in and cut their lead to just two with 15:53 left to play. Just minutes later a Vaughn three tied the game at 42 all. The Trojans again tried to pull away as they increased their lead to 12 over the next several minutes powered by a pair of Trull three-pointers. But once again the Bulldogs reeled them back in as a pair of Odell Turner free throws cut the lead to just three with four minutes left on the clock but that would be as close as they would come. A pair of Jones free throws and another Trull free throw extended the Trojans lead to eight with just 1:13 to play. Despite the short time both teams continued to pour in points as the Bulldogs tried to mount a comeback but the free throw shooting by the Trojans held them at bay.