Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball pulls within a game of first with win at Mars Hill


   MARS HILL, NC -- Catawba pulled within a game of the lead in the South Atlantic Conference with a 96-76 win over host Mars Hill in men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Stanford Arena.  Catawba improves to 20-6 overall and 8-3 in the SAC, while the Lions fall to 9-15 and 3-8.  The Tribe got help on Wednesday as Lenoir-Rhyne and Presbyterian both suffered defeats.   
Catawba placed five players in double figures to help offset a 40-point performance from Lion Walt Baxley.  Baxley hit on 11-of-23 shots, including five three pointers, and was 11-of-14 at the line.  Catawba was led by Jamel Hamilton, who tallied 18 points off the bench.  Helgi Magnusson followed with 17, while Andy Thomson had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Tribe trailed only twice and took the lead for good on a three-point play by Rokus Bartasius at 21-19 with 12:07 to go in the opening half.  The Indians would lead by six at the break.  Mars Hill trailed only 62-58 at the 12:13 mark, but Catawba used a 11-3 surge to reach a double-digit advantage with 10 minutes to play.

Catawba shot only 43%, but made 27-of-33 (82%) at the line.  The Tribe also held a big margin of 52-35 on the boards and pulled down 21 offensive rebounds and held a 25-5 edge in second-chance points.  Catawba made just 12 turnovers.  Mars Hill canned 41% from the floor with Baxley being the only player to reach double figures.

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