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Basketball (M)

Baker Earns 300th Win as Men's Basketball Takes Down Tusculum

Houston nets 25 to become SAC's #2 scorer

SALISBURY, NC -- Senior Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) came up two points shy of 2,000 career points, but his 25 was enough to lift host Catawba to a 78-65 win over Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The win gave Catawba Coach Jim Baker his 300th career win, all at Catawba, and improved the Indians to 14-7 overall and 7-3 in the SAC.  The Pioneers fell to 12-10 and 6-5.

Jimmy Boone (Greeneville, TN) hit two three-pointers in the opening four minutes as Tusculum jumped to a 6-0 lead.  The Pioneers built the lead to 16-7 by the midpoint of the opening half.  Catawba clawed back and Houston tied the game at 20-all on a three-pointer that made him the conference’s #2 all-time scorer. 

Tusculum did not surrender the lead in the opening half and took a 33-31 edge to the break.  The Pioneers hit on 52% (11-of-21) in the first, while Catawba struggled, hitting just 9-of-28 (32%).  The Indians were 2-for-14 to start the game. 

Justin Huntley (Mooresville, NC/Mooresville HS) gave Catawba its first lead on a three-pointer to start the second half, but it was three straight from behind the arc by Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) that sparked the Indians.  He answered a three-pointer by Kyle Moore (Gainesville, FL) to give the Indians a 39-36 lead then added another after a turnover.  His last gave Catawba a 45-39 edge with 15 minutes to play.

The Pioneers pulled even at 47-all as Moore converted three free throws.  After the teams traded a pair of free throws, Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) put the Indians up for good with 11:05 left.  Houston scored seven straight Catawba points, capped by a three-point play, for a 58-51 lead with 8:47 remaining.  A Huntley three-pointer pushed the advantage to 69-56 with 4:11 to go.

Moore led all scorers with 31 points for Tusculum.  He was a perfect 10-of-10 at the line and hit a trio of three-pointers.  Wes Taylor (Oregon, OH) was the only other Pioneer in double figures with 12.  Justin Steigerwald (Cincinnati, OH) dished out seven assists.

Houston hit on 6-of-10 shots and was 12-of-13 at the line to score his 25 points.  Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) followed with 16 and Huntley tallied 10 points. 

Tusculum shot extremely well, finishing at 55%.  Catawba improved to 54% in the second half and shot 42.6% for the game.  The Indians held a 29-25 edge on the boards and had just seven turnovers to 18 for the Pioneers.  Catawba went 25-of-30 at the line.

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