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Basketball (M)

Houston and Wooldridge Lead Men's Basketball to Win at Carson-Newman

Showdown set with Presbyterian on Saturday for league crown

JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- Freshman Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC) equaled a career-high with 29 points and senior Chris Wooldridge (Norfolk, VA) added a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds as Catawba defeated host Carson-Newman 112-107 in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.  The win keeps the Catawba Indians tied for first place in the league, setting up a showdown with co-leader Presbyterian on Saturday afternoon at Catawba with the winner claiming the SAC Championship.  Catawba improves to 17-9 overall and 12-3 in the SAC with its eighth straight win.  Carson-Newman falls to 9-17 and 2-13.

Catawba fell behind early at 14-9, but three straight jumpers by Houston gave the Indians a 15-14 lead at the 15:25 mark of the opening half.  Carson-Newman led again at 45-41, but Wooldridge slammed home one of his nine dunks and Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC) and Houston hit jumpers to give the Tribe a 47-45 lead it would never relinquish.

The Indians held a 61-59 edge when Houston started an 8-0 run with a three-pointer that gave Catawba a 69-59 advantage with 16:07 to go.  The Eagles would cut the deficit to a point at 72-71 on a three-pointer by Jesse McMurray, but Catawba would spurt out by 10 with 8:52 remaining at 85-75.

Catawba built a 12-point lead and held a 100-90 lead with 4:07 left, but again the Eagles rallied and got within 106-102 on a three-pointer by Andy Tipton with 51 seconds remaining.  Catawba made all six free throws down the stretch to earn the win.

Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) also posted a double-double for Catawba scoring 14 points and equaling a career-best with a dozen assists.  Norman Monroe (Newport News, VA) scored 12 points off the bench.  Six Eagles reached double figures, led by Clay Scott, who had 21 points off the bench.  Scott Williams had 18 points and eight rebounds.  Kente Hart recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.

Catawba shot 58% from the field in the win and also canned 24-of-27 (89%) at the line.  Carson-Newman finished the game with 15 three-pointers in 32 tries.  Catawba held a 44-31 edge on the boards.

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