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Basketball (M)

Catawba Tops Bears 69-58 With Three-Point Barrage

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba used five three-pointers, three by Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS), over a five minute span midway through the second half to spark the Indians to 69-58 win over visiting Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 16-9 overall and 9-5 in the SAC, while the Bears fall to 6-18 and 4-10. 

Catawba trailed by two at 41-39 when freshman Lee Martin (Mt. Airy, NC/N. Surry HS/Hargrave) started the long-range barrage with 13:22 left.  Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) added a triple with 12:06 to go and Fields hit the first of his three straight with 11:09 remaining for a 48-45 lead that the Indians would not relinquish.  He canned his second with 10:10 to go and his last at the 8:25 mark stretch the Catawba lead to 56-45.

The Bears closed within five at 60-55 with 3:26 remaining, but Catawba made 7-of-8 at the line over the final 2:27 to cinch the victory.  Fields had missed on his first six shots of the game before heating up in the last 12 minutes.  He finished with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting and went 3-of-6 from behind the arc.

After trailing 7-2 early, Lenoir-Rhyne took its first lead on a three-pointer by Jon Haithcock (Concord, NC) and moved ahead 24-17 on a three-point play by Matt Kunz (Kernersville, NC).  The Bears held a 31-22 edge with 4:24 to go before the half, but the Indians rallied to tie the game at 33-all on a pair of free throws by Fields.  Alex Watkins (Charlotte, NC) sent the Bears to the break with a 36-33 lead on a three-pointer with nine seconds left.

Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) added 18 points for Catawba.  Houston and Stephen Coles (Danville, NC/Washington HS) just missed double-doubles as both had nine points and nine rebounds.  Watkins led the Bears with 12 points.  Jeff Thomas (Claremont, NC) added 11 points, while D.J. Blackmon (Albemarle, NC) had 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Catawba shot 48% in the second half to just 33% for the Bears.  Catawba won the battle of the boards 40-34 and made just four turnovers it the final 20 minutes after committing 13 in the first half.

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