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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Falls to Mars Hill at the Buzzer

SALISBURY, NC -- Dion Malachi (Shelby, NC) banked home a jumper from the top of the key at the buzzer to lift visiting Mars Hill to a 77-75 win over Catawba in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Lions improve to 13-10 overall and 8-5 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 15-8 and 8-4.  The win was the first for the Lions over Catawba since 2004, a span of 13 games.

The last two minutes went back-and-forth as Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) put Catawba up on a three-pointer with 1:44 left to give the Indians a 70-68 lead.  Malachi quickly tied the game on a layup and Danny Sanders (Shelby, NC) hit a short jumper with 53 seconds to go to return the lead to Mars Hill at 72-70.

Houston made one free throw with Donzell Williams (Salem, VA/Glenvar HS) rebounding the second miss for Catawba.  Williams scored with 24 seconds remaining to give the Indians a 73-72 edge.  Sanders hit a long three-pointer with 11 seconds left then Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) hit two free throws with 5.7 seconds to play to tie the game.  Mars Hill got the ball up court where Malachi hit his winning shot as the horn sounded.

Sanders led Mars Hill with a double-double, scoring 19 points with 11 rebounds.  Malachi added 15 points and eight boards.  The Lions dominated the glass 47-22 in the victory.  Mars Hill scored 19 points off 23 offensive rebounds, while Catawba converted eight offensive boards into five points.  Dallas Johnson (Auburndale, FL) scored 14 of his 16 points after the break and added seven rebounds.  Almir Krdzalic (Vermillion, SD) dished out 10 assists.

Houston led Catawba with a game-high 25 points.  He hit on six three-pointers.  Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) added 14 points, while Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) and Williams followed with 12 and 11 points, respectively. 

Catawba led 38-34 at the break, but Mars Hill started the second half on an 18-6 run to take control.  Malachi staked the Lions to the 52-44 edge with 12:41 remaining.  The Indians hit on half of their three-point attempts (10-of-20) in the contest.

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