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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Falls In Final Seconds to #7 Augusta State

HICKORY, NC – Daniel Dixon canned a jumper with one second remaining as Augusta State nipped Catawba 97-95 in a battle of NCAA II top 15 ranked squads at the Moretz Sports Classic held at Lenoir-Rhyne’s Shuford Gym on Monday afternoon.  The Jaguars, ranked seventh, improve to 6-1, while the Catawba Indians, ranked 14th, drop to 8-3 with their thired straight defeat.

The game was tightly contested with 15 ties and 14 lead changes.  Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) capped a 9-3 spurt early in the second half to give Catawba the game’s largest lead at 61-54 with 13:43 remaining.  Ben Madgen had a three-pointer and a three-point play to trim the ASU deficit to a point.  The Jaguars went back on top with 9:40 left on a layup by Garret Siler.

The Indians would pull out to a 78-73 on three free throws by Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS), but could not shake Augusta State.  ASU converted on eight free throws tries over a 1:15 span to go on top 90-88 with 2:27 left.  Cliff Burns (Cooleemee, NC/Davie Co. HS) tied the game before Dixon connected on a three-pointer with 1:51 to go for a 93-90 lead.

Houston would get Catawba within a point twice with a jumper and two free throws and the Indians pulled even as Burns hit on one of two free throws with 34 seconds remaining.  Dixon then gave ASU the win on his last-second jumper.

Siler led the way for ASU with 28 points and 10 rebounds.  Madgen followed with 22 and added six assists.  Houston scored 22 for Catawba with four steals.  Burns added 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting.  Both teams played well as ASU hit on 51% of its shots, while Catawba shot 58%, including 64% in the final half.  The Jaguars had 10 turnovers to just seven for Catawba and held a 41-26 edge on the boards.

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