Basketball (M)

Four Reach Double Digits as Men's Basketball Takes Down Tusculum


GREENVILLE, Tenn. -- Catawba placed four players in double figures and notched its third straight win with an 81-75 victory over host Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action on Monday night at Pioneer Arena.  The Catawba Indians improve to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the SAC, while the Pioneers fall to 1-8 and 1-4.

Freshman Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg HS) led the scoring with 22 points on 10-of18 shooting.  KJ Arrington (Newport News, Va./Denbigh HS/Henry CC) nearly posted a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds plus hitting the key shot with 28 seconds remaining and the Indians holding a three-point lead.  Also reaching double figures for Catawba were Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel HS/Delaware St.), who had 15 points, and Troy Warren (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman HS) with a dozen points.

Catawba led the entire second half, but saw the Pioneers cut a one-time nine-point deficit to just a single point with 5:36 to go.  That came after a three-point play by Zach Davis making the count 64-63.  The rally came during a stretch where Catawba went five and half minutes without hitting a field goal.

Morrison finally ended the spell on a jumper with 5:08 remaining.  Leading 70-68, Ben Sealey (Hampton, Va./Menchville HS/Virginia Intermont) canned a big three-pointer and Warren followed with a fast break layup as Catawba spurted to a 75-68 lead with 2:56 left.

The Pioneers got one free throw from Davis with 45 seconds to play to make it 78-75 then Arrington sank a jumper from the free throw line for an 80-75 edge.  Tusculum missed four shots in the final 15 seconds before Warren finally grabbed a rebound and sank a free throw for the final margin with three seconds remaining.

Catawba trailed 9-2 at the start before finally tying the game at 19-all with 9:32 to go before the break.  Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hannah HS) put Catawba on top stay at 21-19 at the 9:02 mark.  A dunk by Morrison gave Catawba the largest lead of the game at 43-32 before the Pioneers cut the margin to 43-37 at the half.

Chase Mounce was one of two Tusculum players to post double-doubles with 19 points and a dozen rebounds.  Davis collected 16 points and 12 boards.  Cory Fagan added 11 points.

Tusculum held a 40-38 edge on the boards, but Catawba grabbed 16 on the offensive glass and nearly doubled up the Pioneers on second chance points at 15-8.  The Indians also used a +8 margin to outscore Tusculum 19-5 off of miscues. 

Catawba travels to Fairfax, Va., on Wednesday to face George Mason of the Atlantic 10 Conference in an exhibition game at 7 p.m.  The Indians will close their pre-Christmas schedule at J.C. Smith on Saturday afternoon.

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