November 15, 2014
Men's Basketball Falls to Watts' One-Man Show
SALISBURY, N.C. -- UNC Pembroke freshman Brandon Watts tallied 37 points to spark the Braves to an 82-75 win over host Catawba in men’s basketball action Saturday night at the SAC/PBC Challenge in Goodman Gym. The Braves improve to 2-0 on the season, while the Catawba Indians fall to 1-1.
Watts scored 24 of his points in the second half, including a jumper with 3:59 remaining to give UNC Pembroke the lead for good at 66-65. Watts canned 11-of-16 from the field, going 5-of-7 from behind the arc and adding 10-of-11 free throws.
Catawba led virtually the entire first half after KJ Arrington (Newport News, Va./Denbigh HS/Henry CC) answered a three-pointer from Watts to put the Indians up 5-3. The Indians enjoyed their largest lead at 34-27 following a triple by Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg HS) at the 1:45 mark of the half. UNCP trimmed the deficit to 36-34 by the break.
Watts gave the Braves their first lead since the early minutes when he converted a three-point play with 15:38 left to put the visitors up 46-44. Another three by Arrington gave Catawba the lead right back, but eventually UNCP moved out to a 60-54 advantage with just under nine minutes to play.
The Indians responded to the deficit with a 9-1 run that was capped by a three-pointer from Morrison to put Catawba ahead 63-61 with 5:26 on the clock. Griffin Pittman hit a long-range jumper to push UNCP ahead and Watts followed a basket by Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel HS/Delaware St.) to give Pembroke its lead for good.
The Braves never opened the door for the Indians down the stretch, making all 10 of their free throw attempts in the final 45 seconds. Morrison brought Catawba within 75-72 on a three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining then saw Watts convert two free throws with nine seconds left and two more with a tick on the clock for the final margin.
Arrington scored 21 to pace Catawba. He hit on 9-of-13 shots with a trio of three-pointers. Brown followed with 18 points and eight assists, while Morrison added 17 points and eight rebounds. Keysheen Hinton was the only other double digit scorer for UNCP with 11 points and he also grabbed nine boards.
UNCP canned 54% (15-28) of its second-half shots to just 34% (11-32) for Catawba. Each team committed nine turnovers with the Braves holding a slight 39-35 edge on the boards.
Catawba stays at home for its next game which will also be its South Atlantic Conference opener on Wednesday. The men will tipoff with Wingate around 8 pm after the women’s game between the two schools which starts at 6 pm.
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