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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Loses on Buzzer-Beating Three-Pointer

SALISBURY, NC -- USC Aiken junior Byron Faison (Sumter, SC) sank a three-pointer as time expired to lift the visiting Pacers to a 92-90 win over Catawba in the opening game of the Salisbury Roundball Classic on Friday night at Goodman Gym.  The Pacers improve to 2-0, while the Catawba Indians fall to 2-1.

Faison’s shot came after a scramble off an offensive rebound by Sterling Council (Camden, SC) that was knocked loose in the lane.  The ball bounced out to Faison at the top of the key and his shot hit the front rim and bounced through the rim for the winning basket.  Catawba’s Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) had missed a pair of free throws with 14 seconds to play with the Indians holding a 90-89 edge.

Catawba had rallied from a 10-point deficit early in the second half.  Donzell Williams (Salem, VA/Glenvar HS) had two steals and layups to ignite a 15-3 run that put Catawba on top 67-65 with 10:07 remaining.  Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) tied the game on a three-pointer and Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) put the Indians on top with a pair of free throws.

USCA regrouped and went on top 74-69 on a three-pointer by Faison with 7:36 left.  Catawba would again rally back with Williams putting the Tribe up 81-79 with a dunk following a steal by Stephen Coles (Danville, VA/Washington HS) at the 4:59 mark.  A three-pointer by Field gave Catawba an 86-81 lead with 1:44 to play. 

Re’mon Nelson (Canal Winchester, OH) had a three-pointer for the Pacers which was followed by a Rutherford dunk to give the Indians an 88-84 edge with 1:18 remaining.  Rashad Flowers (Charleston, SC) made a free throw and then a layup after a Catawba turnover to bring Aiken within 88-87 with 49 seconds left.  Fields connected on two free throws to give the Indians a 90-87 advantage with 42 seconds to play, but Council answered five seconds later with a pair from the line to set up the final scenario. 

Nelson led USCA with 22 points, hitting on 6-of-8 from behind the arc, and added seven assists.  Faison followed with 14 points, while Seth Leonard (York, PA) had 14 points and nine rebounds.  Flowers posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Catawba placed all five starters in double figures, led by Rutherford with 17 points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks.  Reid and Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) each had 15 points, while Fields added 14.  Williams tallied 11 points and had three steals.

USCA made 13-of-25 (52%) from three-point range and held a 43-31 edge on the boards.  The Pacers converted 20 offensive rebounds into 34 points, while Catawba had only 13 second-chance points. 

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