Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball survives cold shooting night and gets 59-56 win

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba College got 17 points from freshman Jamel Hamilton (Virginia Beach, Va.) and 16 points from sophomore Brian Graves (Newport News, Va.) as the Indians defeated visiting Presbyterian 59-56 in South Atlantic Conference menís basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym. The Indians remain atop the league standing, earning their seventh straight win. Catawba improves to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in the SAC, while the Blue Hose fall to 12-7 and 4-3. Catawba earned the win despite shooting just 33% (17-of-52) from the field and being out-rebounded 34-29. The Tribe was able to can 10-of-22 from three-point range and had only 13 turnovers to 21 for the Blue Hose. Presbyterian hit half of its shots (21-of-42), with five three-pointers. Catawba played a strong first half and held a pair of nine-point leads. Three-pointers by Helgi Magnusson (Reykjavik, Iceland) and Hamilton started a 13-5 run that put Catawba up 22-13. The Tribe led 32-27 at the break. Presbyterian went on a 10-3 run to open the final half and tied the score at 37-37 on a layup by Martynas Versinskas (Kaunus, Lithuania) with 14:48 left. The Blue Hose would take their only lead of the second half at the 9:10 mark on a jumper by Johann Collins (Raleigh, N.C.). Graves canned a three-pointer on the Tribeís next possession to give the Indians a 45-44 edge. Collins tied the game with a free throw, but Catawba went on top for good on a pair of free throws by Zach Snyder (Lexington, N.C.) with 6:59 left. Hamilton and Trey Ballenger (Wellford, S.C.) traded three-pointers and Catawba held a 51-50 edge with 4:57 left. After Ballengerís three-pointer neither team scored for two and half minutes until Magnusson connected on a three-pointer with 2:29 remaining for a 54-50 Tribe edge. Graves hit a layup and two free throws to push the Catawba advantage to 58-52 with a minute to play. Drew Biggs (Alpahretta, Ga.) cut the Presbyterian deficit in half on a three-pointer with 54 seconds left and Graves hit one of two at the charity stripe to give Catawba a 59-55 lead. Sean Dixon (Marietta, Ga.) hit one of two free throws to again bring Presbyterian within three at 59-56 with 11 seconds left. Hamilton missed two free throws with 10 seconds to play, but the Blue Hose failed to get off a final shot. Collins and Biggs each had 13 points to lead the Blue Hose. Magnusson also reached double-figures for Catawba with 13 points, 10 coming before the break. #####

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