Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Drops Tight Battle at Erskine


DUE WEST, S.C. -- Catawba returned to men's basketball action on Wednesday afternoon, suffering an 83-78 defeat to host Erskine at Belk Arena.  The Flying Fleet improve to 4-5, while the Catawba Indians fall to 5-5.

Catawba trailed by two at the break after shooting 52% from the field in the opening half.  The Indians could not keep up the hot hand, falling off to 32% in the final half.  Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel HS/Delaware St.) led Catawba with 17 points with KJ Arrington (Newport News, Va./Denbigh HS/Henry CC) adding 12 points and seven rebounds.  Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg HS) and Vismantas Marijosius (Kedainiai, Lithuania/North Hills) each scored 11 points.

Erskine broke a 66-all tie on a jumper by Fineto Lungwana and a three-pointer from Aaron Brown to lead by five then held on for the win.  The Flying Fleet had rallied from a 65-62 deficit to retake the lead and secured the game by canning 5-of-8 at the line in the final 32 seconds.

Marijosius cut a six-point deficit in half on a three-pointer with 47 seconds to play.  A free throw each from DeShaun Hall and Maurice Daniels around a three-point miss from the Indians put Erskine up 80-75 with 18 seconds left.  Brown hit three free throws to pull Catawba within two before Hall canned a pair from the stripe with 12 seconds to go for an 82-78 lead.  After another three-point miss by the Indians, Erskine added a final free throw.

The Indians led early in the second half before Erskine used a 13-1 run to claim a 59-51 edge with 9:10 remaining.  Despite its shooting struggles, Catawba rallied from that deficit to regain the lead with just under six minutes left.  A three-pointer from Arrington had the Indians up 63-62 and when Morrison converted after a steal to cap an 11-0 run, Catawba led 65-62 with 5:22 to play.

Erskine shot just at 50% in both halves and made eight three-pointers.  The Indians hit 14-of-27 shots in the opening half, but only 10-of-31 in the final 20 minutes.  Catawba connected on seven three-pointers and held a 41-37 edge on the glass.  Catawba canned 23-of-26 at the line (89%) with Erskine going 23-of-35 (66%).  Each team had 13 turnovers.

Hall led the Flying Fleet with 21 points and also grabbed nine rebounds.  Lungwana tossed in a dozen points with Arvel Arwater adding 11 points on a trio of three-pointers.

Catawba gets back into league action on Saturday, traveling to Anderson for a 4 p.m. match up with the Trojans.

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