December 20, 2002
Poor shooting costly to Men's Basketball in loss at Aiken
AIKEN, SC – Catawba College fell to host USC-Aiken 73-65 at the Phillips 66 Christmas Classic on Thursday night at the Courthouse. The Indians cut a 14-point second half deficit to two points, but could not get any closer in falling to 3-6 on the year. Aiken improved to 2-6.The Pacers took a 33-23 lead into the locker room at the half after holding a 12-point lead in the final minute. Catawba shot just 31% in the opening half, hitting on just 8-of-26 shots, an d were 1-of-8 from three-point range. The Indians trailed 50-26 with just over 10 minutes to play before beginning a rally.
The Indians outscored USCA 14-2 in just over three minutes to cut the Pacer lead to two points, 52-50, with 6:41 to go in the game. Four free throws and a three-pointer by Petty accounted for seven of the Indians 14 points. The senior guard hit just two shots from the field, both three-pointers, but hit all eight of his free throw attempts to finish with 14 points. He also grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists.
The Pacers responded with seven unanswered points to go back up on top by nine points, 61-52, with 4:12 to go. Burton concluded the run with two free throws. The junior connected on all 12 of his free throw attempts on the night. He brought down four rebounds to go along with his game-high 18 points. Catawba would cut the Pacer lead to six points on four occasions over the final three and a half minutes but they would get no closer.
USC Aiken made all 10 of their free throws in the final minute to seal the victory, while Catawba misfired on six of 10 tries from the line in the final five minutes. The Indians would struggle shooting all night, hitting just 37% in the final half to finish at 34.5% for the game. Aiken hit on 45% of its attempts and held a 39-37 edge on the boards.
Petty’s 14 points led Catawba, while Alex Luyk and Brian Carter each had 13 points. Carter added eight rebounds. Burton led Aiken with his 18 points with Todd Williams adding 16 and Bryant Latimer and Minda Statkus each tossing in 15 points. Williams added nine boards and four blocks.