February 24, 2007
Men's Basketball Wins SAC Title With 63-57 Victory Over Presbtyerian
Houston's key basket, late free thows lift men to league championship
SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba claimed the South Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship with a 63-57 win over visiting Presbyterian in a showdown of league co-leaders on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym. It marked the second league title for Catawba in three years, who improve to 18-9 overall and 13-3 in the SAC, winning for the ninth straight time. The Blue Hose, who had won nine straight, falls to 19-8 and 12-4.
Presbyterian battled back from an 11-point second half deficit to take the lead at 51-50 on a layup by Grant Herron (Oviedo, FL) with 2:46 left. Catawba freshman Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC) answered with a jumper to give the lead back to the Indians then added two free throws with 1:44 remaining for a 54-51 lead.
Sean Dixon (Marietta, GA) tied the game one final time on a three-pointer with 57 seconds to go, but Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) followed with a deep three-pointer to put the Tribe up for good at 57-54 with 45 seconds remaining. Pat Kiscaden (Oviedo, FL) cut the Catawba lead to 59-57 with 14 seconds to go, but Chris Wooldridge (Norfolk, VA) canned two free throws with 10 seconds remaining. Graves added two more free throws after a PC turnover for the final margin.
The Blue Hose led only briefly in the opening half at 14-13 following a Dixon three-pointer. Catawba would take a 27-23 lead at the half and steadily built its advantage to 43-32 with 12:43 to go. Presbyterian used a 9-0 run to take its only lead of the second half on the basket by Herron.
Houston led Catawba with 18 points, while Graves added 17. Wooldridge posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Herron led all scorers with 25 points, while Drew Biggs (Alpharetta, GA) came off the bench to add 11. Catawba enjoyed a 34-28 edge on the boards, helping offset a 40% shooting night. PC shot 45%, but made only four three-pointers after entering the game making a league-leading eight per contest.