Basketball (M)

Arrington's Double-Double Helps Push Men's Basketball to Season-Opening Win

14_MBB_ArringtonKijuanTC

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba notched an 86-72 victory over Francis Marion to open its 2014-15 men's basketball season on Saturday night at Goodman Gym in the SAC/PBC Challenge.  KJ Arrington (Newport News, Va./Denbigh HS/Henry CC) posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Catawba Indians.

Newcomers Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel HS/Delaware St.), Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg HS) and Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./TL Hanna HS) also had strong games for the Indians.  Brown tallied 17 points and handed out three assists, while Morrison and Taylor each had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Detrek Browning paced Francis Marion with 18 points and added nine rebounds.  Dii’Jon Allen-Jordan followed with 15 points and Jay Alexander posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Catawba opened quickly with an 11-0 run to start the game.  The Patriots chipped away at the lead and eventually went on top 18-17 with just over seven minutes left in the first half.  The rest of the half was tight with Catawba taking a 36-33 lead at the break.

Another quick run by the Indians to start the second half had Catawba up 44-35, but a three-pointer by Trevonte Dixon and two layups from David Jerome put FMU on top 46-44 with 16:02 left.  Down 50-46, Morrison and Troy Warren (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman HS) each scored six points in a 12-4 spurt that put the Indians up 58-54.

Catawba connected on four three-pointers, two from Taylor, over a four minute span to push a three-point lead to 70-63 with 5:22 remaining.  The Indians put the game away at the line, going 10-of-15 at the stripe over the final four minutes to secure the win.

The Indians made 23-of-33 (70%) at the line, while Francis Marion converted just 16-of-33 (49%).  That offset a 55-42 edge by the Patriots on the boards.  Catawba also held a big margin from behind the arc, hitting on 11-of-23 (48%).  FMU was only 4-of-24 (17%) from long range.

Catawba continues play in the SAC/PBC Challenge on Saturday night, facing UNC Pembroke at 8 p.m.  The Braves topped Lenoir-Rhyne 98-90 in double-overtime in the opening game Friday.  Francis Marion will play Lenoir-Rhyne at 6 p.m.

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