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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball survives second half drought in win over Tusculum

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba College avoided a third straight loss, defeating visiting Tusculum 53-46 in South Atlantic Conference menís basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym. Catawba improves to 17-4 overall and 7-2 in the SAC, while Tusculum falls to 10-11 and 4-5.Tusculum started strong and led 13-8 after six minutes, but Catawba used a 15-2 run midway through the opening half to take a 23-15 edge at the 7:44 mark. Catawba would build the lead to nine by the half at 32-23. Tusculum shot just 32% in the opening frame, while Catawba shot 45% against the nationís #3 rated defense, allowing opponents just 37% coming into the game. The Pioneers, who rank #1 in NCAA II in scoring defense, tightened up in the second half and allowed Catawba just five field goals in the second half and just 21% shooting. The Pioneers still trailed by nine at 40-31 with 12:20 left, then kept Catawba without a field goal for nearly eight minutes. During that time Tusculum trimmed the lead to a single point at 40-39 with 6:55 to go and had several chances to take the lead, but failed to convert. Catawbaís Alex Luyk (Madrid, SPAIN) finally ended the field goal drought with a three-pointer with 4:27 remaining to give the Indians a 44-39 edge. The Pioneers trailed 46-44 with 3:04 to go after a free throw by Pat Compton (Fairfield, OH), but Terrence Hamilton (Dillon, SC) gave Catawba a 49-44 lead on a three-pointer with 2:00 left. He failed to convert on the four-point play, but Catawba made four of six free throws from that point to hold on. Hamilton was the only Catawba player to reach double figures with 12 and had six rebounds. Luyk and Brian Carter (Alexandria, VA) each had eight rebounds, while Brent Jernigan (Albemarle, NC) scored nine points in his first career start. Tusculum was led by Compton, who had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Britton Boedecker (Missoula, MT), who had 10 points and eight boards. Both teams shot horrid in the second half. Catawba made just 5-of-24 (20.8%), while Tusculum hit on 7-of-27 (25.9%). Catawba finished at 34/5% for the game and Tusculum at 29/3%. Both teams also shot under 50% from the line and each had 17 turnovers and the Pioneers held a 49-43 edge on the boards. #######

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