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Basketball (M)

Graves Records Triple-Double as Men's Basketball Advances With 115-113 Win Over CN

Wooldridge tallies career-high 35 points

SALISBURY, NC -- Senior Brian Graves (Newport News, VA) posted his first career triple-double as top-seeded Catawba survived to defeat ninth-seeded Carson-Newman 115-113 in quarterfinal round action or the 2007 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 19-9 and advance to face #4-seed Lenoir-Rhyne in one of Saturday’s semifinal games to be held at the Catawba Valley Community College Arena in Hickory, NC.  The Eagles end their season at 10-19.

Graves dished out a career-high 15 assists in the win and added 17 points and 10 rebounds.  In three games against Carson-Newman this season the senior had 38 assists.  Senior Chris Wooldridge (Norfolk, VA) scored a career-high 35 points, hitting on 16-of-20 field goal attempts.  League Freshman of the Year, Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC), added 22 points, canning a trio of three-pointers.

Catawba rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit and finally retook the lead at 82-81 on a Graves jumper with 13:16 left.  The Indians built their lead to nine at 93-84 with 9:52 remaining, but the Eagles rallied behind a 13-5 run to get within a point on a jumper by Andrew Johnson (Cairo, GA) with 6:12 left.

Carson-Newman went on top 111-109 with 1:16 left on a three-point play by Deonte Williams (Selma, AL).  Wooldridge would tie the game twice on dunks for Catawba and the Eagles would miss an opportunity with 20 seconds left to retake the lead.  Graves missed a jumper in the waning seconds, but Houston grabbed the rebound and was fouled with three seconds to play.  He connected on both free throws to give Catawba a 115-113 lead and Kente Hart (Evansville, IN) missed a three-pointer from half court as time expired.

Hart finished with 30 points and five assists for Carson-Newman.  Scott Williams (Macon, GA) followed with 20 points, while Deonte Williams and Andy Tipton (Maryville, TN) each tallied 14 points.  Carson-Newman used a late surge in the opening half to grab a 60-52 lead at the break.  The Eagles used a 15-2 run to erase a 41-38 deficit to claim a 53-43 lead with 3:28 to go.  Carson-Newman connected on seven three-pointers in the opening half, but was held to just one in the final stanza.

Catawba shot 65% in taking the win, making 69% in the second half.  The Indians also made 7-of-11 from behind the arc, including 5-of-8 in the final half. 

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