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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Takes League Opener in Overtime

Houston gives sqaud late lift with 10 overtime points

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit and knocked off Lenoir-Rhyne 93-82 in overtime in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians claim their fourth straight win and improve to 6-6 overall and 1-0 in the SAC.  The Bears fall to 6-5 and 0-1.

Freshman Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC) scored 10 of his team high 25 points in overtime to lift Catawba.  After failing to get off a shot at the end of regulation, Catawba grabbed the lead in the extra period on a put-back by Houston.  Lenoir-Rhyne tied the contest on a layin by Josh Kindred (Holly Springs, NC), but Houston connected on a three-pointer to put the Tribe up for good and added a three-point play with 2:56 left for an 87-81 Catawba lead.

Catawba fell behind 60-48 following a layin by LR’s Donte Watson (Fayetteville, NC) with 12:47 left in regulation then found its shooting touch, getting back-to-back three-pointers by Jason Diggs (Christiansburg, VA) and Houston to cut the deficit to 60-54 with 11:59 left.  A three-point play by Kindred gave the Bears a 63-56 edge, but Norman Monroe (Newport News, VA) and Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) each had three-point plays for Catawba to cut the lead to 67-64 with 7:41 left.

Ahmad Murphy (Orangeburg, SC) would give Catawba the lead at 69-67 on another three-point play with 6:55 remaining.  The teams traded leads four times with four ties down the stretch.  Murphy gave Catawba a 77-75 lead on two free throws with 49 seconds left, but Reggie Bratton (Charlotte, NC) tied the game on a pair from the stripe with 31 seconds remaining.  The Tribe failed to get off a shot at the end of regulation.

Bratton led all scorers in a losing effort for the Bears.  He connected on 10-of-17 field goals, including a pair of three pointers, and was perfect on seven shots at the line.  Houston made 8-of-15 for Catawba with two three-pointers and went 7-of-9 at the line for his 25 points.

Graves added 18 points for Catawba with Murphy tossing in 14.  Kindred had 18 points and eight rebounds for LR, while Marcus Springs (Charlotte, NC) added a dozen points.  After shooting just 39% in the opening half, Catawba hit on 50% in the second half and 56% in overtime.  The Bears made just 1-of-7 shots in the extra period.  Both teams shot well at the line as the Bears made 16-of-20 (80%), but Catawba made 34-of-38 attempts (89.5%).

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