Basketball (M)

Byrd Nets 25 As Men's Basketball Falls to Belmont Abbey


SALISBURY, NC -- Belmont Abbey got off to a quick start and went on to post a 98-77 victory over host Catawba in men's basketball action on Monday night at Goodman Gym.  The Crusaders improve to 2-0, while the Catawba Indians fall to 0-3.

Drexler Clark came off the bench to score 20 point for the Crusaders, leading four players in double figures.  Chris Davis and Ray Chen each tallied 16 points with Ryan Conrad tossing in a dozen.  Clark also added four rebounds, four assists and four steals.  Freshman Jalen Byrd (Hickory, NC/Hickory HS) led Catawba with a game-high 25 points.  Nick Houston (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) had 16 points, while Troy Warren (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) and Julian Sampah (Greensboro, NC/Greensboro Day) each posted double-doubles.  Warren had 10 points and 12 boards and Sampah tallied 10 points with 10 rebounds.

Playing its third game in three days, a shorthanded Catawba squad got off to a slow start.  The Indians led 10-9 after five minutes, but the Crusaders went on a 14-1 run over the next five minutes to start pulling away.  When Davis canned a free throw at the 4:42 mark of the half, Belmont Abbey had its largest margin of the first stanza at 44-21.

Catawba shot just 31% in the opening half and was only 1-of-11 from behind the arc.  Belmont Abbey made 54% in the first 20 minutes, hitting on 6-of-8 from long range. 

Back-to-back three-pointers from Byrd and a layup by Chance Rucker (Concord, NC/Concord HS/Benedict) pulled Catawba within 63-46 with 15:33 remaining, but Belmont Abbey would answer with a 9-0 run to put the game away.  The Crusaders led by as many as 34 points in the final half.

Catawba will be idle until Nov. 20 when it opens league play at Wingate at 8 p.m.  The Indians, who have been missing several key players, should be at full strength for the start of conference play.


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