Basketball (M)

Big Second Half From Marijosius Pushes Men's Basketball to Third Straight Win

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SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba continued a stretch of tight games, picking up a 60-57 win over visiting Anderson in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 12-12 overall and 9-9 in the SAC.  The Trojans fall to 11-13 and 7-11.

Winners of three straight, Catawba has reached the .500 mark for the first time since it faced Anderson the first time this year on Jan.3.  The Indians are 4-2 over the last six games which have all been decided by four points or less with five going down to a last-second shot.

Saturday, Catawba survived after holding Anderson scoreless over the final five minutes in rallying from a 57-54 deficit.  The Indians withstood two missed free throws holding a 58-57 lead with 14 seconds remaining and a desperation shot by the Trojans at the buzzer in an attempt to force overtime. 

After the Anderson misses from the stripe, Vismantas Marijosius (Kedainiai, Lithuania/North Hills (NC) HS) hit a pair for Catawba to stretch the lead to 60-57 with 12 seconds to play.  Catawba's defense made the Trojans take a contested three-pointer from the corner as time expired.

Catawba got all its points in the final five minutes at the line.  Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg HS) made two with 2:46 left to cut the margin to 57-56 and Marijosius put Catawba back on top with two free throws at the 2:18 mark.  Anderson missed four shots, three free throws and had a pair of turnovers in the final four minutes.

Marijosius scored all 15 points of his game-high points in the second half, making all four of his field goal tries and canning 6-of-7 at the line.  Morrison also scored 15 points, while Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna HS) tallied 14 points and handed out five assists.

Anderson was led by Tre' Fields, who scored a dozen points and grabbed six rebounds.  Chris Ross collected 11 points and Myson Jones tallied 10.  Both teams shot under 40% with Catawba making just 27% in the second half.  The Trojans canned just 31% in the first half and trailed 32-23 at the break.  Catawba also committed 10 of its 12 turnovers after the half.

The Indians stretched its nine-point halftime lead to 41-27 just over three minutes into the second half when Marijosius canned a three-pointer.  Anderson rallied back, scoring 13 straight points to close within 41-40.  The Trojans cashed in four turnovers into eight quick points in the run.

The Indians spurted back ahead and led 47-40 after a three-pointer from Ben Sealey (Hampton, Va./Menchville HS/Virginia Intermont) with 11:48 remaining.  Anderson made its final push on a 7-1 run to go up 57-54 with 5:07 left, but would not score again.

Catawba faces two road tests next week.  The first is on Wednesday at Lenoir-Rhyne at 8 p.m.

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