January 25, 2016
Men's Basketball Continues Early Struggles in Loss at Tusculum
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tusculum got past visiting Catawba, posting an 81-75 win in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action on Monday night at Pioneer Arena. The Pioneers improve to 8-9 overall and 4-8 in the SAC. The Catawba Indians fall to 7-11 and 5-7, dropping their fourth straight.
Catawba had rallied from 15 down to win the first meeting of the teams in early December. This time the Pioneers nearly saw a 17-point bulge evaporate, but held on thanks to a pair of key rebounds on missed free throws in the closing minutes.
The Pioneers had seen Catawba inch within 68-66 with 3:22 left after a jumper from Andrew Ingram (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Carroll). Zach Davis went to the line and upped the lead to 69-68 before missing his second attempt. Tusculum got the rebound and returned to the line where Darius Carter made the first then missed the second and again saw TC get possession. Davis added a layup and the lead was back to 72-66 with 2:25 to go.
The Indians went down 76-67 with 1:41 remaining before mounting one last charge. When Ben Sealey (Hampton, Va./Menchville/Va. Intermont) nailed a three-pointer with 37 seconds left, Catawba trailed just 78-73. Seven seconds later Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel/Delaware St.) closed the gap to 79-75, but that would be the last points for Catawba and Tusculum prevailed.
Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) led Catawba with 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg) followed with 12 points and Brown netted 10. Davis led all scorers with 21 points for Tusculum. Carter picked up 13 points, while Chase Mounts and Gunnar Beamer both picked up 10 points.
It was another slow start for the Indians, going down 12-2 in the opening six minutes. A 20-9 run over the last seven minutes of the half put Tusculum up 41-26 at the break. Catawba shot just 31% in the opening half compared to 50% for the Pioneers.
Tusculum took a 17-point lead early in the second before Catawba made its first rally, closing within 49-44 with 13:45 left. The Pioneers built their lead back to 13 before a 9-0 Indian run cut the lead to 62-58 and eventually to 68-66.
Catawba shot 53% in the second half, but couldn't get all the way back. The Pioneers made the most of its free throw chances, going 27-of-39 despite the late misses (9-of-18 over the last 3:03). Catawba was just 11-of-24 (46%) from the line.
Catawba travels to Coker on Wednesday for an 8 pm tip-off.
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