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Basketball (M)

Houston Pours In 31 As Men's Basketball Tops Wingate

WINGATE, NC -- Catawba, ranked 23rd in NCAA II, held off host Wingate to grab a 97-90 win in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Cuddy Arena.  The Catawba Indians remain the only undefeated team in league play, improving to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the SAC.  The Bulldogs fall to 5-9 and 1-2.

 Junior Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) gunned in a season-high 31 points to pace the Indians.  Clliff Burns (Cooleemee, NC/Davie Co. HS) followed with 17 points and Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) added 16 off the bench.  Isaac Rose (Jonesboro, NC/N. Forsyth HS) tossed in 11 and Donzell Williams (Salem, VA/Glenvar HS) had seven points and eight rebounds.

 Catawba took a 42-35 edge to the break, scoring the final 10 points of the half then had to hold off a Wingate second-half charge.  The Tribe led 51-39 early in the second half when the Bulldogs went on a 13-4 run to close within 55-52 with 13:11 remaining.

 The Bulldogs would get as close as two points, the last time at 7-68 after a pair of free by Chris Smith with 7:25 to go.  Consecutive baskets by Burns and a three-point play by Fields helped push the advantage to 77-70.  A jumper Williams restored a double-digit advantage with just over four minutes left.  After Wingate cut the lead to 91-86, Catawba made four free throws in the final minute to help ice the game.

 Tommy Coles led Wingate with 27 points, while Kenny Villines had 17 points and 10 rebounds.  Catawba shot 56% in the second half and after just a one-for-nine performance from behind the arc in the opening half, hit on three-of-five in the final stanza.

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