February 22, 2005
Men's Basketball wins SAC Championship
WINGATE, N.C. -- Catawba College claimed the South Atlantic Conference Menís Basketball Championship with a 78-66 win over host Wingate at Cuddy Arena on Wednesday night. The win coupled with a Lenoir-Rhyne loss gives the Indians the outright title. Catawba improves to 21-5 overall and 11-2 in the SAC, while Wingate falls to 8-18 and 4-9. The SAC Championship is the first for the Indians since the 2000-01 campaign.
Junior Helgi Magnusson (Reykjavik, ICELAND) scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace Catawba, who did not trail after the opening minutes. A layup by Ahmad Murphy (Orangeburg, S.C.) with 15:02 in the opening half gave Catawba an 8-6 edge and the Indians were on top the rest of the way.
A basket by Brian Graves (Newport News, Va.) gave the Tribe a 21-10 edge at the 8:35 mark of the half and a three-pointer by Andy Thomson (Poynton, ENGLAND) push the Indian lead to 33-20 for their largest lead of the half with 1:41 left.
The Bulldogs used an 8-2 run to open the second half to reduce the margin to 38-34 after a three-pointer by Sean Barnette (Rock Hill, S.C.) with 18 minutes remaining. Magnusson and Graves answered with three-pointers by Catawba and after back-to-back buckets by Jolly Manning (Rocky Mount, N.C.) Catawba had a 50-36 lead with 14:41 to go.
Wingate cut the deficit to seven on a couple of occasions in the final 10 minutes, but Catawba was never threatened. Catawba hit 7-of-9 free throws in the final two minutes to ice the issue. The Indians were 15-of-18 (83%) at the line for the game.
For Indians reached double figures as Manning followed Magnusson with 14 points. Graves added 11 with five assists, while Murphy tossed in 10. Barnette had 16 to lead Wingate, while Maurice Hoover (Allendale, S.C.) had 14 and Anthony McKinnon (Creedmoor, N.C.) 12.
The Indians shot 44% for the game and held a 41-35 edge on the boards. Wingate canned 42% from the field, but were only 6-of-12 (50%) at the charity stripe. Both teams had 13 turnovers.