December 12, 2015
Late Three-Pointer Sinks Men's Basketball at Mars Hill
MARS HILL, N.C. -- Justin Yeargin's three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining proved to be the winning basket as Mars Hill topped visiting Catawba 71-70 in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Stanford Arena. The Lions improve to 5-4 overall and 1-2 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 3-4 and 2-2.
After Yeargin put the Lions on top, Catawba's Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel/Delaware St.) drove the lane, but missed. Catawba had one last shot after getting a tie up on the rebound with just .9 seconds left. Mars Hill was able to intercept the inbound pass to grab the win.
The final sequence ended a second half that saw the lead change hands seven times over the final eight minutes. Mars Hill used a 7-2 spurt to go up 59-56 with 6:43 left. Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) tied it with a three-pointer then put Catawba back on top with a layup at the 5:48 mark.
Mars Hill retook the lead on a basket by Kevin Haynes and pushed the margin to 64-61 on two free throws from Jalen Witherspoon. Catawba would rally and pull even at 68 on a three-pointer by Brown with 2:37 to go.
Brown gave the Indians a 68-66 lead on a jumper with 1:46 left before a dunk by Witherspoon tied the contest once again. After blocking a Catawba shot, Mars Hill had a chance to go on top, but Yeargin missed a three. Brown was fouled in the back court and made two free throws with 29 ticks on the clock to give Catawba its 70-68 edge that would be erased on Yeargin's winner.
Taylor led all scorers with 21 points for Catawba, hitting on 9-of-15 shots with a trio of three-pointers. Julian Sampah (Greensboro, N.C./Greensboro Day) collected his second straight double-double, scoring 14 points with 15 rebounds. The rebounds set a new career best, one more than he had last Saturday in a win over Tusculum. Brown picked up 10 points off the bench.
Brandon McCarter tallied 15 points off the bench for Mars Hill. Yeargin had 14 points with Witherspoon and Michael Carson each reaching 10 points. Brandon Watkins grabbed 10 rebounds.
Catawba opened strong, building a 17-7 lead after eight minutes. Mars Hill fought back to go on top 31-26 before the teams went to the half tied at 35. Neither team led by more than four points over the final 20 minutes.
Mars Hill was out-rebounded 44-37 by Catawba, but held a 13-6 edge in second-chance points. The Indians also committed nine of its 12 turnovers in the second half, while Mars Hill had only three of its 10 miscues after the break. Catawba also struggled at the line, making only 9-of-18 (50%), while the Lions went 10-of-19 (53%).
Catawba is back in action on Monday as the Indians host Erskine in an Educational Day game at 11 am.
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