01/29/09 — Saints keep pace with Kinston

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Saints keep pace with Kinston

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 29, 2009 1:46 PM

WILSON -- Rebounding isn't glamorous and it usually doesn't garner loads of individual attention, but it sure does go a long way to winning ballgames.

Southern Wayne was relentless on the glass and came up with timely rebounds in a 66-63, Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference win at Wilson Beddingfield on Wednesday night. It was the Saints' second conference road victory in as many nights.

Southern Wayne finished with a 42-27 advantage on the boards and was led by Brandon Anderson's 13 rebound performance, 10 of which came on the offensive end. Anderson scored 17 points and Justin Artis added 11.

Desmond Raiford grabbed perhaps the Saints' most critical rebound of the game with 12 seconds remaining. Anderson missed a pair of free throws with Southern Wayne clinging to a 64-61 lead, but Raiford was there to grab the rebound and was fouled.

Raiford sank both free throws to give Southern Wayne a 66-61 advantage. He finished with a game-high 26 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"We knew if we had any chance of winning against a team that long and that athletic we had to play big on the boards," said Southern Wayne head coach Russell Stephens. "Desmond Raiford had a big double-double and Brandon Anderson had a double-double as well so I think that was a key also."

Aaron Roundtree's tip-in with five seconds remaining trimmed the margin to 66-63. Gary Woodard missed a pair of free throws with four seconds left that gave Beddingfield (9-10 overall, 3-2 ECC) a chance for the tie, but Terrell Winstead's long 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

The victory kept the Saints (14-5, 4-1) tied atop the ECC standings with Kinston (16-3, 4-1), which defeated Charles B. Aycock.

Southern Wayne completes its three-game road swing Friday at county archrival Eastern Wayne.

"We knew this could be a very good week for us or a very bad week," said Stephens. "Right now we're feeling kind of getting after getting two wins. We knew we could come in here tonight and either be tied for first or have to battle for that second place spot.

"It was just a total team effort."