GREENEVILLE — Alissa Diaz scored a game-high 24 points and Anderson University went 12-for-23 from three-point range in a 71-53 victory over Tusculum College in a South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball game Wednesday night at Pioneer Arena.
Amanda Parris scored all of her 15 points on five three-pointers for the Trojans (10-5, 4-1 SAC), who shot 50 percent (25-for-50) overall and led by as many as 29 points over the Pioneers (8-5, 2-3 SAC).
April McCann led Tusculum with 12 points and seven rebounds and matched her career high with five steals, but the Pioneers shot 32.1 percent (17-for-53) from the field and allowed a season high in points en route to dropping backto-back games for the first time this season.
Diaz went 9-for-11 from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range, and surpassed her previous season high of 21 points. She was also 3-for-3 at the free-throw line to help the Trojans finish 9-for-9 at the stripe as a team.
Anderson never trailed in the game, but was in a 12-12 tie with Tusculum following a three-pointer by Kendal Baxter with 12:52 left in the first half. The Pioneers trailed 25-20 with 6:52 left in the first half, only to see the Trojans close the half with 15 consecutive points to go to the locker room with a 40-20 advantage.
Diaz scored six of her 15 firsthalf points during the run as the Trojans shot 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from the field and 5-for-9 from three-point range. The Pioneers went just 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from the floor in the opening half, with McCann and Ashley Thurman sharing the team high with four points apiece.
Tusculum trailed 48-31 with 12:07 to play following a basket by Alishia Mosley, but threepointers from Diaz and Parris sparked a 10-0 run that pushed Anderson to a 58-31 lead with 9:19 to go. Parris’ fifth three-pointer of the night gave the Trojans their largest lead of the night at 69-40 with 4:39 remaining, but the Pioneers were able to close the game on a 13-2 run to narrow the final margin.
Baxter finished with nine points for the Pioneers and Blakeley Burleson added seven points in 19 minutes off the bench. Kristen McMillion shared the team high in rebounds with McCann with seven boards, and Breaira Barksdale had five assists to go along with six points and three steals.
Lesley Woods also reached double figures for the Trojans with 12 points in 16 minutes, including a pair of three-pointers. Tilde Ahlin dished out a game-high six assists and Breonda Shannon led the way on the glass with seven rebounds for Anderson.
Overall, Anderson finished with a 34-31 rebounding edge over Tusculum, while the Pioneers committed 21 turnovers and forced the Trojans into 24 miscues. Tusculum was 6-for-19 from three-point range and connected on 13-of-20 attempts at the foul line as a team.
The Pioneers will continue their three-game homestand Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Mars Hill.