Banks, Shorter blow past William Carey 73-62, remain perfect
By Matt Green
ROME -- Junior Anthony Banks scored a career-high 25 points, Walter Hill added 13 and fourth-ranked Shorter University improved to 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the Southern States Athletic Conference with a 73-62 victory over William Carey at the Winthrop-King Centre on Saturday night.
Darius Steger chipped in with nine points on three 3-pointers and C.J. Davis had eight points in 17 minutes off the bench as the Hawks remained atop the SSAC East Division standings with an impressive win over the leaders of the West Division.
William Carey (7-8, 4-2) placed four players in double figures, but were no match for the athleticism of Banks, who shot 10-for-13 while scoring 15 of his points in the first half.
The icing on the cake for Banks came during Shorter's game clinching run late in the second half that turned an otherwise closely-contested game into a rout in the final moments.
3-pointers from Steger and Hill extended Shorter's lead from six to 10 with seven minutes to play, but the crushing blow in Shorter's 8-2 spurt came when Hill stripped William Carey's Devarus Walker and threw ahead to Davis, who floated a lob towards the rim that Banks flushed home for a 62-50 lead with 6:28 to go.
Two minutes later, Kenny Leverette stole the ball from Carey's Roderick Little and handed off to Banks, who threw down a windmill extending Shorter's lead back to 12. Banks scored eight of Shorter's final 13 points to seal the win.
Shorter trailed only briefly in the game -- a 1:49 stretch of the first half -- but 11 straight points from Banks put the Hawks back in control. Banks' personal 11-0 run turned a 13-11 Shorter deficit into a 20-15 lead with 10:20 to play until halftime. A Steger trey moments later gave Shorter an eight-point lead -- its largest of the first half.
Johnathan Crawford's one-handed dunk at the first half buzzer put the Hawks ahead 38-33 at halftime.
Shorter converted on 54 percent of its shot attempts and made 8 of 18 from beyond the arc. Steger hit three 3-pointers in a game for the first time since Shorter's win over Faulkner on Nov. 18.
William Carey shot 52 percent in the first half, but struggled mightily in the second half shooting just 30 percent. The Crusaders turned the ball over 21 times.
Shorter continues conference play on Thursday, Jan. 12 when it plays host to Southern Wesleyan in an 8 pm tip at the Winthrop-King Centre.