Basketball (M)

Brown's 19 Second-Half Points Can't Pull Men's Basketball Out of Early Hole


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba made a furious rally in the final eight minutes, but couldn’t overcome a 15-0 deficit to start the game in falling 80-74 to visiting Wingate in a South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball opener at Goodman Gym on Wednesday night.  The Bulldogs improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 1-2 and 0-1.

Catawba missed its first 13 shots in falling into its early hole as Wingate’s Ryan Daye hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the game.  KJ Arrington (Newport News, Va./Denbigh HS/Henry CC) tried to bring Catawba back, scoring all 11 of his first points in a six minute span to help cut the deficit to 19-15 with 8:01 to go in the half.  Wingate responded with a seven-point run and held a 41-28 edge at the break.

A three-pointer and two free throws by Isiah Cureton to start the second half for Wingate pushed the margin to 46-28.  Cureton put the Bulldogs up by 19 at 52-33 with 15:01 remaining.

Catawba chipped away at the lead, pulling within 58-49 with 9:09 remaining on a bucket by Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hannah HS).  Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel HS/Delaware St.) had nine points in the 16-6 spurt.

Brown added four more points and Troy Warren (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman HS) a layup to reduce the deficit to 63-57 with 4:38 left.  Keith Griffin and Zeriq Lolar each hit two free throws to extend the Wingate lead to 10. 

The Indians still trailed by 10 with a minute play when a three-pointer by Ben Sealey (Hampton, Va./Menchville HS/Virginia Intermont) and two free throws by Arrington made it 73-68.  Wingate held on by going 7-of-8 at the stripe in the final 26 seconds.

Daye led all scorers with 22 points for Wingate.  He hit on 8-of-13 from the field and canned a trio of three-pointers.  Cureton followed with 18 points, while Lee McCall posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.  Lolar also reached double digits with 11 points.

Brown finished with 21 points for Catawba with 19 coming in the second half.  Arrington tallied 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds.  Taylor would add 14 points and seven boards.  Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) blocked six shots for the Indians.

Wingate finished the game shooting 43% from the field and went 7-of-13 (54%) behind the arc.  Catawba finished the game at 37% shooting after its poor start and canned 44% in the second half. 

 Catawba travels to Mars Hill on Saturday for another SAC match-up.  The teams are set for a 4 pm tip following the women’s game which starts at 2 pm.

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