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Basketball (M)

Houston Scores 18 In Second Half As 14th-Ranked Men's Basketball Gets Past Mars Hill

SALISBURY, NC – Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) scored all 18 of his points in the second half to help lift 14th-ranked Catawba past visiting Mars Hill 88-81 in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 13-3 overall and 5-0 in the SAC, while the Lions fall to 10-5 and 1-4.

Catawba held a 45-30 halftime lead without a point from Houston, its leading scorer.  Mars Hill would erase the deficit just over seven minutes into the final half following a second-chance by Akeene Coakley (Mt. Pleasant, SC) off a missed free throw by Jamarl Glen (District Heights, MD), who was trying to convert on a three-point play.  The Lions led 56-55 with 12:52 remaining.

Houston answered the Lion lead with a three-pointer then the teams traded the lead  a dozen times over the next seven minutes before a pair of free throws by Houston with 5:33 left gave the Indians the lead for good.  Mars Hill had several opportunities to trim into a 78-75 lead before Catawba stretched its lead to 88-79 with eight seconds to go.

The Indians spurted away from Mars Hill in the final four minutes of the first half.  Leading by six, Catawba closed the half on a 13-4 run for its halftime edge.  Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) led the Tribe in the opening stanza with 14 of his 16 points.

Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) came off the bench for Catawba and equaled Houston with a team-high 18 points.  He added seven rebounds and five assists.  Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) tallied 14 for Catawba with Isaac Rose (Jonesville, NC/W. Forsythe HS) adding nine points and 10 rebounds.

Coakley posted a double-double to pace the Lions.  He had 19 points and 11 rebounds, including 16 points and eight rebounds in the second half.  Stoney Polite (Morganton, NC) followed with 18 points and dished out six assists.  Two other Lions reached double figures as P.J. Gore (N. Myrtle Beach, SC) scored 14 points and Glen 11.  Danny Sanders (Shelby, NC) pulled down 10 rebounds.

Both teams shot over 50% in the final half with Catawba finishing at nearly 48% for the game.  The Lions hit just 32% in the opening half and finished at 43%.  The second half featured 14 lead changes.

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