Basketball (M)

Rough Return for Men's Basketball in Loss at Belmont Abbey

14_MBB_SampahJulianLMU

BELMONT, N.C. -- The Catawba men's basketball team returned from its holiday hiatus and fell to host Belmont Abbey 97-84 on Saturday afternoon at the Wheeler Center.  The Crusaders improve to 3-7, while the Catawba Indians fall to 5-6. 

Catawba surrendered a season-high in points and committed 18 turnovers in the loss.  The Indians did hold a 38-31 edge on the boards and limited Belmont Abbey to just four offensive rebounds, but the Crusaders didn't leave many to get as they shot nearly 60% (34-of-57) and went 11-of-27 from long range.  Meanwhile, Catawba connected on just 39% (25-of-64) and was only 4-of-23 (17%) behind the arc.

Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) led Catawba with 21 points and was a perfect 9-for-9 at the line.  Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel/Delaware St.) followed with 15 points as five Indians reached double figures.  Julian Sampah (Greensboro, N.C./Greensboro Day) and Jordan Barber (Matthews, N.C./Weddington) each tallied 11, while Andrew Ingram (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Carroll) added 10.

Ray Chen paced the Crusaders with 19 points. making eight of 10 shots and handing out eight assists.  Deion Lane and Markel Pollard each added 18 points with Nick Hough chipping in with 17.

Catawba led 7-2 early before a 10-3 Crusader run gave the hosts its first lead at 12-10.  After going up by seven, Belmont Abbey saw the Indians retake the lead after a basket by Barber with 6:48 left in the half.  A three-pointer by Lane returned the lead to the Crusaders, who led 42-39 at the break.

The teams battled tightly over the first five minutes of the second half with the contest tied at 48 at the 15:12 mark.  At that point, Belmont Abbey put together an 8-0 run to take over.  The Crusader pushed the lead to ten at 60-50 with 11:17 remaining.

The Indians got as close as 62-57, but Belmont Abbey answered with seven straight points and led by double figures the rest of the way.  The lead grew to its largest at 93-74 with 2:08 to play.

Catawba is back in action on Saturday as the Indians host North Greenville in Goodman Gym at 4 pm.

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