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Basketball (M)

Hamilton tallied career-high 26 points as Men's Basketball moves to 3-0 in SAC

GREENEVILLE, TN – Sophomore Jamel Hamilton (Virginia Beach, VA) came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points to lead visiting Catawba to a 79-63 win over Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Arena.  With the win, the Indians move to 15-3 overall and 3-0 in the SAC, while Tusculum falls to 10-6 and 1-2.
Ahmad Murphy (Orangeburg, SC) canned a three-pointer to open the scoring and Catawba never trailed.  The Tribe used a 7-0 run to grab a 10-3 edge just over four minutes into the contest.  The Pioneers trimmed the deficit to a point, but Catawba got a pair of three-pointers by Hamilton in a 16-3 run that pushed the Indian edge to 26-13 by the midpoint of the half.

Another three-pointer by Hamilton pushed the lead to 17 at one point and Catawba went to the break with a 42-29 lead.  Hamilton had 13 and Chris Wooldridge a dozen in the opening half as the Tribe canned 53% from the field to just 30% for Tusculum.  Jordan Lear had 13 first-half points to keep the Pioneers in the game.

Catawba upped its lead to 22 early in the second half and led 69-49 with 10 minutes to play when Tusculum made a final run.  A nine-point Pioneer run cut the deficit to 11, but Helgi Magnusson (Reykjavick, ICELAND) ended the run with a three-pointer for Catawba with 5:51 remaining.  

Hamilton scored his 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including a 6-of-10 performance from behind the arc.  He was perfect on four free throw attempts.  He added three assists and four steals.  Wooldridge and Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) each scored 16 points, while Magnusson added 10.

Lear paced the Pioneers with 21 points, while Gabe Story came off the bench to score 16 points and grab nine rebounds.  The Pioneers shot just 34.5% from the field nad committed 21 turnovers.  Catawba hit 51% and was 9-of-17 from three-point range.  

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