Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Takes Down #5 Northern Kentucky

WINGATE, NC -- Catawba built a 20-point lead in the opening minutes of the second half then held off fifth-ranked Northern Kentucky to claim an 86-81 win in men’s basketball action at the OrthoCarolina Classic on Sunday afternoon at Wingate’s Cuddy Arena.  The Catawba Indians, ranked 23rd in NCAA II, improve to 6-0, while the Norse fall to 4-2 after dropping a 10-point decision to Wingate on Saturday.

NKU scored 18 straight points over a six-minute span to reduce a 19-point deficit to a single point with 10:30 to play.  Two free throws and a jumper by Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) stopped the run, but another eight-point run by the Norse put Northern Kentucky up by three at 66-63 with 6:43 remaining.

Leslie Malone would score eight straight points for the Norse, which was answered by Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School), who sank four free throws and a jumper to keep the score tied.  Reid scored his ninth straight point for Catawba on a three-pointer with 3:49 to go to give the Indians the lead for good at 75-72.  He added another three-pointer for an 80-72 lead with 2:23 left.

A’Daeron Duncan had a three-pointer and a layup to get the Norse within three with nine seconds remaining, but Isaac Rose (Jonesville, NC/W. Forsyth HS) canned a pair from the line with seven seconds remaining for the final margin.

Catawba ballooned a three-point lead to a 16-point halftime edge in the final two and half minutes of the opening half.  A jumper and two free throws by Houston pushed the lead to seven.  A foul and two technicals on NKU led to four free throws by Fields and two more by Houston for a 46-33 lead.

A steal and dunk by Donzell Williams (Salem, VA/Glanvar HS) and a three-pointer by Houston gave the Indians a 51-33 edge before a last-second jumper by Scott Bibbins made it 51-35 at the break.  Two dunks by Williams in the first 30 seconds of the second half gave Catawba a 55-35 lead, but the Norse would cut into the lead from there.

Houston led Catawba with 20 points, hitting on 11-of-13 at the line.  Reid followed with 18 and Fields 17.  The Indians hit on 28-of-34 (82%) at the line and held a 34-40 edge on the boards.  Duncan had 20 points off the bench for NKU with Malone adding 14.  DeAaron Williams had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

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