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Basketball (M)

Loss to LMU Drops Men's Basketball Out of SAC Lead

HARROGATE, TN -- Catawba cut a nine-point deficit in the second half to a single point, but could never take the lead in falling 80-73 to host Lincoln Memorial in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Turner Arena.  The Catawba Indians drop a game off the pace in the league standings, falling to 15-9 and 8-5.  The Railsplitters move a half game out, improving to 19-6 and 9-5.

LMU stretched a four-point halftime lead to nine early in the second half at 43-34 on a jumper by Brandon O’Brien.  The Indians rallied from there.  A three-pointer by Justin Huntley (Mooresville, NC/Mooresville HS) started an 8-0 run to pull the Tribe within 45-44 with 12:16 left.

The Indians had two chances to take the lead, but could not convert.  Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) cut the deficit to a single point again at 51-50 then LMU started to pull away again.   A three-pointer by Stuart Miller gave the Railsplitters a 56-50 lead with 7:15 left and Catawba never got closer than three the rest of the way.

Catawba made a valiant effort in the final 40 seconds, cutting a 10-point lead to just five and had possession with 20 seconds to go.  Houston would miss on a three-point attempt and LMU hit four free throws to ice the game away.

Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) delivered a double-double for Catawba with 17 points and 12 rebounds.  Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) followed with 15 points and eight rebounds.  Houston added 11 and Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) tossed in 10.

D’Mario Curry paced Lincoln Memorial with 24 points and 17 rebounds.  Marc-David Vil added 11 with Miller and O’Brien each scoring 10 points.

Catawba shot just 29% (10-of-35) in the first half and trailed 32-25.  LMU led by as many as 11 in the opening frame.  The Indians scored the final four points of the half, but missed several opportunities to get even closer as the Tribe couldn’t connect on its final four shots before the break.

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