January 8, 2014
Men's Basketball Claims Double-Overtime Thriller Over Newberry
SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba put five players in double figures and outlasted visiting Newberry to claim a thrilling 98-96 double-overtime victory over the Wolves in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym. The win improves the Catawba Indians to 3-8 overall and 3-4 in the SAC, while the Wolves fall to 8-3 and 4-3.
Newberry twice sent the game to extra periods with late three-pointers, but a final three-point shot from Demarkus Smith for the win fell short and Catawba claimed the two-point win. Gerald Evans had tied the game with six seconds left in regulation and Dondray Walker had pulled the Wolves even with 17 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
In the second overtime, Jalen Byrd (Hickory, NC/Hickory HS) put the Indians up 95-92 with 2:36 left and his steal led to a free throw from Kijuan Arrington (Newport News, VA/Denbigh HS/Henry CC) to keep Catawba on top at 96-94 with 1:21 to go. Cole Birchfield tied the game on a pair of free throws with 58 seconds remaining, but Arrington sank a jumper with 25 second to play for the winning points before the last-second miss from Newberry.
Arrington scored 25 points for Catawba, hitting on 8-of-12 from the field and going 9-of-12 at the line. Tyrece Little (Greenville, NC/Rose HS) posted a double-double with 23 points and a dozen rebounds. Reggie Perkins (Greensboro, NC/Phillips Exeter HS) and Vismantas Marijosius (Kedainiai, LITHUANIA/North Hills) added 16 each and Byrd tallied a dozen.
Smith went 9-for-21 to lead Newberry with 23 points. Walker followed with 18 points and Brandon Taylor scored 15 points with six rebounds. Brunes Charles also reached double figures for the Wolves with 12 points.
Catawba was able to connect on 49% of its shots for the game and won the battle on the boards 57-47. Newberry did force Catawba into eight more turnovers, 24 to 16, and the Indians made just 17-of-32 (53%) at the line, but it was good enough for the narrow win. Newberry hit on 39% from the field.
The Indians led virtually the entire first half, building as much as an 11-point margin. Catawba connected on seven three-pointers in the first half and made 11 for the game. The Wolves hit on just 32% in the first half.
Newberry whittled into the Catawba lead in the final half, finally pulling even at 65-65 on a basket by Brandon Taylor with 7:24 remaining. A tip-in by Taylor gave the Wolves a 73-70 lead with 5:02 left. Arrington twice cut the margin to a point on free throws and when Little converted a layup after a block from Byrd, Catawba was back up 87-77 with 1:23 to go.
Arrington pushed the lead to 80-77 with 16 seconds left before Evans tied it to force overtime. Catawba turned the ball over with three seconds to go in regulation, but Evans was off the mark on a game-winning attempt.
Smith had Newberry up 84-81 early in the first overtime, but two free throws from Arrington and a jumper by Little brought Catawba back to lead 85-84 with 2:05 left. Byrd's layup made it 87-84 with 37 second remaining before Walker's three-pointer to tie. Arrington missed a three-pointer to win in for Catawba at the buzzer of the first overtime.
Overtime is nothing new to the two teams when playing at Goodman Gym. It marked the fourth time in the past five years the outcome was decided in extra time. Newberry had won a double overtime affair back on Jan. 23, 2010.
Catawba tied a team record with 13 blocked shots in the win. Little had four blocks and Troy Warren (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) posted three. The Indians had matched the mark against Newberry in 2011 and 2012, while also doing it twice against Carson-Newman.
Catawba will hit the road Saturday, traveling to Brevard for a 4 p.m. game.
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