Basketball (M)

Edwards and Rucker Top 20 Points, But Men's Basketball Loses Opener to Lees-McRae

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SALISBURY, NC -- Lees-McRae rallied in the second half to post a 90-86 win over host Catawba in men's basketball action on Saturday night at Goodman Gym in the Salisbury Roundball Classic.  The Bobcats put five players in double figures in grabbing the victory in the opener for both teams. 

Raul Tutton led Lees-McRae with 16 points, while Darryl Bond and Mike Chambers added 15 each.  Jacquise Moore tallied 13 points and Darius Smith collected a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.  Elon Edwards (Greenville, NC/Rose HS) led all scorers with 28 points for the Catawba Indians.  Chance Rucker (Concord, NC/Concord HS/Benedict) added 21 points and Vismantas Marijosius (Kedainiai, LITHUANIA/North Hills (NC) HS) tossed in a dozen points.

The Bobcats jumped out quickly and led 7-2 after a three-pointer by Tutton.  Catawba would come back and took an 11-10 lead on a layup by Chris Watson (Reidsville, NC/Reidsville HS/Rockingham CC).  The Indians began to pull away in the final half of the opening stanza.  Three-pointers by Nick Houston (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) and Watson put the Indians u 25-19 at the 9:54 mark.  After Marijosius completed a three-point play, Catawba was up 34-21.

The Bobcats held Catawba scoreless the final two minutes of the half and cut a 13-point deficit to seven at the break after Tutton sank a three-pointer in the final seconds of the half.  Catawba held a nine-point lead at 63-54 with just over 10 minutes remaining, but the Bobcats began to slice into the margin from there.

Tutton hit a three-pointer and added two free throws to get LMC to within 65-63.  Bond tied it from the stripe with 7:36 left at 65-all.  The Bobcats finally regained the lead on a free throw from Mike Chambers at 74-73 with 3:34 to go.  Lees-McRae was able to hold the lead the rest of the game.

After hitting just 29% in the opening half, Lees-McRae canned 74% (17-of-23) of its field goal tries in the final 20 minutes.  Both teams shot 47% for the game.  The Indians hit nine three-pointers to four for LMC, but the Bobcats went 32-of-47 while Catawba was 27-of-44.  The Indians also committed 21 turnovers to only 14 for Lees-McRae.

Catawba is back in action tomorrow afternoon as it faces neighboring rival Pfeiffer at 2 p.m.

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