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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Keeps Pace With Asheville Until Final Minutes

ASHEVILLE, NC -- D.J. Cunningham scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds as NCAA I UNC Asheville downed Catawba 94-81 in men’s basketball action on Tuesday night at Justice Center.  Cunningham scored all of his points in the second half. going 10-of-12 from the field, to help the Bulldogs erase a one-point halftime deficit and improve to 3-6.  The Catawba Indians fall to 5-4.

The Indians were led by Dominick Reid’s (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) game-high 23 points.  The junior guard went 9-of-12 from the field.  Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) finished with 15 points, while Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) contributed 13 points.

Catawba started much better against the Bulldogs than last season, holding a 21-17 lead after seven and a half minutes.  Asheville then rallied on a 21-3 run to grab a 38-24 edge with just under seven minutes left in the half.

The Bulldogs went ice cold in the final six minutes and the Indians took advantage of UNCA foul trouble to inch back in the game.  Catawba went 15-of-18 from the charity stripe in the opening half and a bucket from Reid with five seconds to go in the half gave the Indians a 43-42 halftime lead.

Catawba built its lead to 50-44 early in the second half and went up 61-57 when Houston hit a long three-pointer 11 minutes left.  The Bulldogs began to rally from there, going on a 12-2 run to take the lead for good at 69-63.  Cunningham sparked most of the run with eight points on four baskets.  Three of the baskets came on dunks.

Catawba was within 85-79 with 2:30 left on a lay-up from Reid.  The Bulldogs got back-to-back dunks from Stephenson and Cunningham to get the lead to 10 at 89-79 at the two-minute mark.  The Indians could get no closer.

The Bulldogs shot a season-high 59 percent (37-of-63) from the field as John Williams finished with 19 points and seven rebounds.  He blocked four shots.  Chris Stephenson added 14 points, while Matt Dickey and Eric Stubbs finished with 11 points each.  J.P. Primm had a season-high 11 assists.

Asheville trailed at the half despite shooting 55 percent from the field (17-of-31) but was undone by 12 turnovers that led 14 Catawba points.  Williams posted 13 points in the half as he was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field.

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