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Basketball (M)

Rutherford's Career-High 25 Points Leads Men's Basketball Past Wingate

The senior hit on 11-of-12 shot attempts

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba senior Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) scored a career-high 25 points, hitting on 11-of-12 shots, as the host Indians defeated Wingate 95-89 in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 8-5 overall and 1-1 in the SAC, while the Bulldogs fall to 9-5 and 2-1. 

Rutherford added to his stellar effort with seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots.  Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) followed with 16 points, hitting on his first six field goal tries.  Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) also reached double figures for Catawba with 15 points.

Wingate was led by Odell Turner (Charlotte, NC), who nearly posted a double-double, finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds.  Quan Alexander (Charlotte, NC) scored 13 points, while Paidrick Matilus (Boynton Beach, FL) and Ethan Kincaid (Morganton, NC) each chipped in with 11 points.

Catawba shot 60% (36-of-60) for the game and raced away from a two-point edge early in the second half.  Leading 51-49, the Indians used an 8-1 spurt for a 59-50 lead with 15:23 remaining.  A dunk by Rutherford pushed the lead to double digits and Lee Martin (Mt. Airy, NC/N. Surry HS/Hargrave) upped the margin to 68-55 on a pair of free throws with 12:44 left.

The Indians eventually stretched the lead to 18 points before Wingate trimmed the deficit to six with several late baskets in the final minutes.  Catawba was up 95-78 with 1:28 remaining. 

Wingate rallied from an early nine-point deficit and took a lead at 39-38 on a layup by Kincaid with 1:20 left before the break.  Catawba reeled off the final seven points of the half to lead 45-39.  The Bulldogs tried to keep with the Indians early, hitting 50% of their shots in the opening half.  Wingate fell off to 39% in the second when Catawba heated up to can 63%.

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