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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball knocked off in SAC semifinal

HICKORY, N.C. -- Tusculum College upset top-seeded Catawba 76-72 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the championship game of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament held at the Multipurpose Arena at Catawba Valley Community College. The fourth-seeded Pioneers improve to 17-10 and will face the winner of the Lenoir-Rhyne/Presbyterian semifinal in Sunday's 4 p.m. final. Catawba falls to 23-6 and must await word on a possible berth in the NCAA II South Atlantic Regional. Tusculum took the lead at 30-28 on a layup by Greg McIntosh (Indianapolis, IN) with 3:56 to go in the opening half and never trailed again. Catawba would cut the lead to two points on several occasions in the second half, but could never tie the score. The Pioneers got an outstanding effort from McIntosh, who posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He had 17 points in the opening half as the Pioneers built a 38-33 advantage. Four other Pioneers reached double figures as Brad Hawks (Galax, VA) and Douglas Tshomba (Brussels, BELGIUM) each added 15 points, while Jordan Lear (Zanesville, OH) and Donald Sexton (Oneida, TN) both tossed in 10 apiece. Tusculum also held a big advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the Indians 46-30. Catawba was led by Chris Wooldridge (Norfolk, VA) with a game-high 20 points and Helgi Magnusson (Reykjavik, ICELAND), who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. There were eight ties and 11 lead changes in the opening half before the Pioneers took control in the final minutes. Tusculum built an 11-point lead at 71-60 with 3:47 left, but Catawba pulled within three at 71-68 with 1:31 to go after eight straight points by Wooldridge. The Pioneers did enough at the line from that point, hitting five-of-10 tries. Tshomba iced the issue with a pair of free throws with 7.5 seconds left for the 76-72 lead. The Pioneers hit on 47% (25-of-53) from the field for the game, while Catawba managed to hit on just 41% (29-of-70). Tusculum also made the most of its opportunities at the line, hitting on 22-of-29 (76%). Catawba was just 9-of-14 (64%) at the stripe. #####

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