December 5, 2015
Men's Basketball Wins Third Straight Behind Taylor and Sampah
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba rallied from 15 down to pick up its third straight win with an 82-78 victory over visiting Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym. The Catawba Indians improve to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the SAC, while the Pioneers fall to 4-2 and 1-1.
Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) totaled 20 points, while Julian Sampah (Greensboro, N.C./Greensboro Day) notched a double-double with a dozen points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead Catawba. Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg) scored 13 points and Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel/Delaware St.) added 11.
Javon Price led the Pioneers with 16 points. Chase Mounce picked up 15 points and seven rebounds with Darius Carter adding 12 points.
Tusculum got out quickly on the back of hot outside shooting. Two early three-pointers had the Pioneers up 10-5 and after a short jumper by Mounts the lead was 14-5 less than five minutes into the contest. The advantage grew to 24-11 after a pair of three-pointers by Zach Hartle and when Matt Shown put in a layup the Pioneers led by 15 at the 8:50 mark of the half.
The Pioneers hit seven of their first 12 three-point tries in building its lead. Catawba whittled the deficit to six late in the half then Price hit the last of nine first-half three-pointer for Tusculum to make it 43-33 with eight seconds to go in the half. Brown was able to sink a three at the buzzer of the half and TC settled for a 43-36 lead at the half.
Early in the second half, Catawba used a 10-1 run to pull within 54-52 on a three-point play by Sampah with 14:40 remaining. Mounce hit two free throws as Tusculum stretched its lead to 60-54 before another run by Catawba gave the Indians a 61-60 lead on a jumper by Morrison with 10:46 left.
Catawba went up 67-64 on two free throws from Sampah with 8:10 to go, but Tusculum surged back on top with an 11-3 run to lead 75-70 with 4:46 left. Taylor followed with a three-pointer for Catawba and Troy Warren (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) put Catawba back on top as he converted a three-point play on a fast-break layup following a Pioneer miss.
After a free throw from Carter tied the score at 76, Brown connected on a three-pointer with 2:46 remaining to give Catawba the lead for good. Neither team scored for over two minutes before Taylor hit the second of two free throws with 14 seconds left for an 80-76 lead. Mounce got a follow shot with five seconds to play to pull Tusculum within 80-78, but Andrew Ingram (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Carroll) iced the game on a pair of free throws with four seconds left.
Tusculum went cold from long range in the second half after hitting on 9-of-17 in the first 20 minutes. The Pioneers failed on all 12 of its three-pointers in the final half. Catawba also turned around a six-rebound deficit in the first half by holding a 27-12 margin in the second half.
Catawba shot 45% for the game while Tusculum, who shot 49% in the first half, cooled to 36% in the second half. Taylor had the first 20-point scoring game for an Indian this season.
Catawba takes a week off for exams before suiting back up next Saturday when it travels to Mars Hill for a 4 pm tip-off.
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