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Basketball (M)

Another Tough Regional Loss For Men's Basketball

AUGUSTA, GA -- Another NCAA II regional at Christenberry Arena, another heartbreaking loss for the Catawba Indians.  Brandon Young hit a three-pointer from the right corner in the final seconds to lead fifth-seeded Anderson to a 68-66 win over fourth-seeded Catawba in the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Southeast Regional on Saturday night.  The loss ends Catawba’s season at 20-11, while the Trojans, who will enter the South Atlantic Conference next season, improves to 24-7 and advances to face top-seeded Augusta State in the semifinals.

The Indians have made four straight regional trips, all hosted by Augusta State.  Catawba won its opening round game last season, but had lost its first two trips in overtime and now on a last-second basket.  Ironically, Anderson took the lead with 2.1 seconds left, the same time on the clock when Brevard scored the winning basket against Catawba in last weekend’s SAC Tournament final.

The Trojans did not lead in the contest until the final 36 seconds of the game, but nevertheless were able to procure the victory behind a second half performance that saw Anderson outscore Catawba 44-28.  Trey Britton hit two free throws to give the Trojans the lead then Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) answered on a jumper with 19 seconds left to put Catawba on top 66-65.

Young sank his basket after recovering a loose ball.  Catawba in bounded the ball immediately with Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) slinging a long pass to Donald Rutherford (Morganton, NC/Freedom HS).  The clock inadvertently started when the ball bounced on the court as Rutherford was chasing it down.  Rutherford saved the ball back to a teammate, who scored, but the play was whistled dead as soon as the clock began to run.  Catawba was forced to inbound again from under the Anderson basket and Reid’s 40-footer at the buzzer was short.

Catawba opened things in the contest by scoring the first nine points over the course of the first 1:59.  The Trojans would finally get on the scoreboard with a Kevis Cornwell jumper at the 17:41 mark of the first half.  The Indians would continue to control the action for the rest of the half, going up by as many as 15 points at 36-21 with 2:44 until intermission.  The Trojans would cut their deficit to 12 in the final two minutes, but Rutherford hit a layup in the final seconds to give the Indians a 14-point 38-24 lead at halftime.

Anderson opened the second half to the tune of 17-3 run that placed them just five behind the Indians at 46-41 with 12:51 left in the second half.  Catawba was able to build the lead back to 10 several times, but could not put the Trojans away.  Anderson cut the lead to four at 63-59 with just under three minutes to play after a lay-up by Cornwell. A little while later the Indian lead was just two at 63-61 after two Britton free throws.

Rob Fields (Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkerson HS) hit a free throw to put the Indians up 64-61 then Cornwell drove for a layup to cut the margin to 64-63 with a little over a minute left in the contest.  After a Catawba miss, Britton sank his free throws to complete the Trojan comeback.

Rutherford led Catawba with 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.  Fields followed with 15 points, while Houston and Stephen Coles (Danville, VA/Washington HS) each scored a dozen.

Cornwell and Young led the Trojans in the come-from-behind victory over the Indians.  Both had 19 in the game.  Britton was the final Anderson player in double figures. He ended his evening by just missing on a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Anderson as a team shot 43.3 percent (26-for-60) from the field in the game, including 50% in the second half.  Catawba shot just 37 percent (10-for-27) shooting in the second stanza.

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