Basketball (M)

Wooldridge leads Men's Basketball to win in season opener

AIKEN, SC -- Catawba shot nearly 60% from the floor in the second half and pulled away from host USC-Aiken to take a 96-83 victory at The Courthouse in menís basketball action on Tuesday night. The Indians, ranked 14th by the NABC, got a career-high 26 points from junior Chris Wooldridge (Norfolk, VA) go win the opener for both teams. The teams battled to a 46-46 tie at the break, although Catawba had led most of the half, including an eight-point cushion with just under five minutes remaining. Wooldridge scored 16 of career-high total in the opening frame, hitting on all seven of his field goal tries. Anthony Sampson put the Pacers up 52-49 early in the second half, but Catawba reeled off 12 straight points, capped by a three-pointer and a layup by Jamel Hamilton (Virginia Beach, VA) for a 61-52 Catawba lead with 15 minutes left. A jumper by Jorvewe Gibson (Charlotte, NC) gave the Tribe its first double-digit lead at 67-56, which grew to 20 on a Wooldridge jumper at 79-59 with 8:18 remaining. Hamilton added 15 points off the bench for the Tribe, who outscored the Pacer reserves 58-34. Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) picked up 11 points. Kingsley Oguchi led USCA with 18 points, followed by Josh Poston with 16. Catawba held a 42-37 edge on the boards and out-shot Aiken 57% to 40%. #####

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