November 24, 2015
Men's Basketball Uses Big First Half to Top Coker 70-63
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba led by as many as 25 points in posting a 70-63 win over visiting Coker in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action on Tuesday night at Goodman Gym. The Catawba Indians notch their first win in their home opener in improving to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the SAC. The Cobras fall to 3-1 and 0-1.
The Indians blitzed Coker in the first half. Catawba canned 54% of its shots in grabbing a 41-22 lead at the break. Leading 16-8, the Indians scored 13 straight points to balloon the lead to 29-8. While Catawba was making shots the Cobras couldn’t connect, hitting just four of its first 24 shots, including one stretch of 13 straight missed shots.
Coker cut the margin to 14 early in the second half, but Catawba went on a 13-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 56-31 with 13:33 remaining. The Indians still led by 20 with 10 minutes left and by 15 with five minutes to go before Coker made a run.
Donte Samuels scored nine consecutive points that included a three-pointer to pull the Cobras within 68-62 with 2:12 to play. Catawba didn’t let Coker get any closer as Malik Constantine (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) followed a Cobra turnover with a layup to put the Indians up 70-62 with 1:17 left. Coker managed just one free throw over the final minute.
Samuels led all scorers with 31 points for Coker. He hit on 9-of-17 shots and went 11-of-12 at the line. Jake Barrett tallied nine points and Trey Marshall eight.
Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) scored 13 points for Catawba, while Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg) added 11 and Jeremy McLaughlin (Greenville, S.C./Mauldin) 10 for the Indians. Taylor added five rebounds and five assists.
Catawba shot 49% for the game. Coker improved to 50% shooting in the second half and finished at 35% for the game. Catawba won the battle on the boards 43-31 to help offset 15 turnovers to just eight for Coker.
The Indians return to action next Wednesday as Catawba hosts Chowan at 6 pm in non-conference action.
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Volleyball vs. UNC Pembroke 11 a.m.
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