March 6, 2010
Men's Basketball Gets Past LMU With Strong Effort on the Boards
HICKORY, NC – Top-seeded Catawba overcame a poor shooting night with a big effort on the boards to post a 70-60 win over fourth-seeded Lincoln Memorial in the semifinals of the 2010 Food Lions South Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the CVCC Arena. The Catawba Indians improve to 20-9 overall and advance to its fourth straight tournament championship game. Catawba has won the tournament the last two years. The Railsplitters fall to 20-9 and will await a possible at-large berth to the NCAA II Tournament.
Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) poured in 18 points and dished out a game-high five assists to lead Catawba, but it was the work on the boards that got the Tribe to the final. The Indians won the battle on the glass by a 52-41 margin, including a 20-10 edge on the offensive boards. Donzell Williams (Salem, VA/Glenvar HS) pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, five on the offensive end.
Both teams struggled from the floor, combining for a 36.1 percent field goal percentage. Lincoln Memorial connected on 37.7% of its attempts from the floor, while Catawba shot 34.7% from the field. Catawba shot just 32.4% in the second half with LMU canning only 31.3%.
Lincoln Memorial’s D’Mario Curry led all scorers with 22 points, knocking down 7-of-11 attempts from the floor and pulling down nine rebounds to pace the Railsplitters. Desmond Johnson added 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to record a double-double.
Lincoln Memorial started off strong, scoring 12 of the game’s first 14 points to jump out to a 12-2 lead with 16:58 to go in the first half on a fast break three-pointer by Wally Jones. Catawba responded with a 7-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to cut the lead to 14-9 on a three-pointer by Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School), and continued to battle back over the next seven minutes, launching a 17-8 spurt to take a 26-22 advantage with seven minutes left in the half.
The Railsplitters scored seven straight points to reclaim the lead at 29-26 on a three-pointer by Brandon Armstrong with 5:09 to play in the period. Catawba then answered with a 13-4 run over the next four minutes to take its largest lead of the half at 39-33, before Curry converted a pair of free throws for LMU to trim the margin to 39-35 heading into the intermission.
Catawba never trailed in the second half, opening its largest lead of the game at the 10:27 mark when Houston knocked down a three-pointer on the heels of a 13-4 run. The Railsplitters responded with a 15-6 run to cut the margin to 59-56 with 4:39 to play. Lincoln Memorial continued to apply pressure over the next two minutes, cutting the lead to 61-60 on a layup by Johnson. That would be last points LMU would score as Catawba answered with a 9-0 spurt over the final 2:25 to secure a spot in Sunday’s championship game.
Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) and Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS) each tallied 13 points for Catawba off the bench. Reid tossed in 10 points. The Indians outscored LMU 21-4 on second-chance points.