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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball falls short in upset bid against Virginia Union

BOWIE, Md. Ė Catawba College fell to Virginia Union 85-81 in the opening round of the NCAA II South Atlantic Region Tournament Saturday afternoon at A.C. Porter Arena on the campus of Bowie State University. The Indians, the #7-seed, end their season at 23-7, while the second-seeded Panthers improve to 25-4 and advance to Sundayís semifinal against USC-Upstate. Catawba roared out of the gates and took a 20-2 lead just 5:15 into the game. Brian Graves (Newport News, Va.) opened the game with a three-pointer and Helgi Magnusson (Reykjavik, ICELAND) capped the early run with a three-pointer. Virginia Union would whittle the lead down just two by the break as Catawba led 40-38. Catawba shot 56% in the opening 20 minutes, with Magnusson scoring 10 and Graves adding nine. Darius Hargrove had 10 points for VUU, including two three pointers in the final minute before the break. The Panthers jumped out to a 51-44 lead in the opening five minutes of the second half as a Hargrove jumper at the 14:43 mark gave Union its biggest lead of the contest. A three-pointer by Andy Thomson (Poynton, ENGLAND) and two free throws by Magnusson brought Catawba within 51-49 and Graves put the Tribe back on top at 54-53 on a three-pointer with 10:27 left. Catawba would go up 62-57 after a three-pointer by Jamel Hamilton (Virginia Beach, Va.) with 7:51 to go and Catawba held the lead until the 5:26 mark when Virginia Unionís Duan Crockett canned a three-pointer to knot the score at 66-66. Luqman Jaaber then came up with back-to-back steals and layups to put the Panther up 70-66 with 4:27 remaining. The Panther went up by six, but Magnusson hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 75-72 with 1:15 left. Catawba could not get any closer until a Graves three-pointer with seven seconds to go cut the margin to 83-81, but Hargrove hit two free throws with five seconds left to ice the issue. Graves finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead Catawba, while Magnusson added 16. Hamilton added 11 points off the beach, while Thomson chipped in with 10. Catawba shot 48% for the game and connected on 11-of-21 from three-point range. The Indians also held a slight 37-35 edge on the boards. Hargrove led all scorers with 25 for VUU, while Crockett added 18. Jaaber had 11 points, seven assists and four steals. The Panthers shot 45% for the game to 48% for Catawba, but had just five turnovers to 15 for the Indians. #####

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