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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Spoils Shuford Gym Anniversary Celebration with Win at LR

Houston and Graves help Tribe keep share of SAC lead

HICKORY, NC – Catawba remained in a first-place tie after an 81-73 win over host Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday night at Shuford Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 16-9 overall and 10-4 in the SAC, winning for the sixth straight time.  The Bears fall to 16-8 and 10-4, and see a 21-game home win streak snapped on the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Shuford Gym.

The game featured 15 lead changes and 11 ties, the last of which was broke with 2:08 remaining when Chris Wooldridge tipped in a miss to give the Tribe the lead for good at 74-72.  Wooldridge scored on the next Catawba possession then Brian Graves added two free throws with a minute to play to increase the lead to 78-72. 

Catawba trailed by five early in the second half, but battled back to tie the game at 47-47 on a layup by Jason Diggs with 12:13 left.  From there the teams traded the lead a dozen times with Tyler Boardman giving the Bears a 66-65 edge with 5:42 remaining.

The Bears pulled out by three, but Catawba tied the game on a free throw by Graves and two by Antonio Houston with 3:56 to go.  Marcus Springs and Reggie Bratton hit a pair of free throws for the Bears, while Norman Monroe had a basket and Rob Fields two free throws to get the game tied 72-72 with 2:35 left.

Lenoir-Rhyne missed two shots and committed two turnovers over the next two minutes to allow Catawba to pull away at the end.  Both teams shot extremely well as Catawba connected on 53% and the Bears 55%.  The teams were even in rebounds, while Catawba had 11 turnovers, nine less than Lenoir-Rhyne.

Houston led Catawba with 21 points, making a pair of three-pointers.  Graves had 18 points and six assists.  Monroe came off the bench to add 13 points.  Bratton led all scorers with 22 points for Lenoir-Rhyne.  Springs added 20 points with Josh Kindred picking up 11 points and eight rebounds.

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