St. Andrews News
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Men's Basketball - Fri, Feb. 24, 2017 by Troy Baranik

KINGSPORT, TN - The 8th seeded St. Andrews University men's basketball team, led by head coach Randy Hernandez, is coming off their most successful season since 2011 winning 12 games and advancing to the Quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament in Kingsport, TN where they  unfortunately, fell to the top-ranked team in the nation in Div. II, Union College (KY) 84-66.

SAU finished 12-17 this season. It is the most wins for St. Andrews since joining the NAIA in 2012 and the most wins overall since 13 in the 2010-11 season. The Knights finished the year by winning five out of their last 7 games and making the AAC Quarterfinals for only the second time in team history. They also went 9-11 in the conference regular season and 10-12 counting the tournament games, the most conference wins in seven years.

St. Andrews was led this season by redshirt freshman forward Connor Zinaich (FR/Boonsboro, MD)'s 17.5 points/game ranking third in the AAC (507 points) and 8.9 rebounds (255 total) to rank in the top 3 in the conference in both categories. He also ranks in the top 10 in the NAIA in offensive rebounds/game while ranking 1st in the AAC. He also had 41 assists, 25 steals, 16 blocks, and 13 three-pointers as he was named as AAC Freshman of the Year. Zinaich was also named to the all-conference first team as well. Zinaich also won the AAC Player of the week award back on Feb. 6 for his multiple double-doubles and 35 point game.

Zinaich, from Boonsboro, MD, was recruited with the help of  Gilbert Abraham, former St. Andrews University basketball player in the mid-2000s and Laurinburg resident, who had been working as a private trainer in the area and With his basketball training company, Akin Athletics. He has a small training roster that includes area prep standouts, and college players such as North Carolina's Justin Jackson and Duke's Chase Jeter, and NBA players Kendall Marshall and Marvin Williams.

Senior all-conference second-team guard Lee Vanderhorst (SR/Charleston, SC) led the Knights with 17 points in the loss to Union and was the second-leading scorer on SAU this season averaging 16.2 points to rank 4th in the AAC (420 points total). He and fellow senior AAC second-team guard Titus Gary (SR/Fayetteville, NC) helped the Knights be one of the best three-point shooting teams in the conference this season with Vanderhorst shooting 40 percent for the year to rank 6th in the entire conference while Gary shot 35 percent.

Gary also finished his SAU career with 1,260 points and the all-time school leader with 240 three-pointers. Gary averaged 13.8 points this season with 71 three-pointers to rank 6th in the AAC including scoring 31 against Methodist for his season-high.

Sophomore guard Bryan Brache (SO/Raleigh, NC) was also named to the Champions of Character team. Injured Senior forward Alex Tharp (SR/Orange Co., VA) was also named as an academic all-conference member for his 3.48 GPA.

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