Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Knocks Off UNCP to Start 2-0

17_MBB_TaylorJameelMD1

HICKORY, N.C. -- Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg) scored 29 points and Catawba nearly reached 100 points in taking a 98-91 victory over UNC Pembroke at the SAC/PBC Challenge in Shuford Gym on Saturday night on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University.  The Catawba Indians improve to 2-0, while the Braves fall to 1-1.

Morrison hit on 11-of-17 shots in posting his game-high total.  Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) added 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.  Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel/Delaware St.) joined the double-digit scorers with 13 points.  KJ Arrington (Newport News, Va./Denbigh/Henry CC) grabbed nine rebounds.

James Murray-Boyles scored 20 points off the bench for UNCP.  Alex Bradley tallied 16 points with Nigel Grant adding 15 and Carson Mounce 12.  Catawba shot 56% in the win and rebounded the bigger Braves 37-34.

Catawba led by two at the break and the teams swapped the lead over the first six minutes of the second half.  Down 51-50, Catawba took the lead for good on Morrison’s two free throws with 13:55 to play.  It was only a 60-58 lead midway through the half, but the Indians used a 12-4 run over a three-minute span to go up by 10 with 7:01 remaining.

Morrison and Taylor capped that run with three-pointers and Morrison’s dunk with 6:14 left made it 76-65.  A three-pointer from Bradley brought UNCP within 77-71 with 4:49 to go, but a layup from Arrington and a three-pointer by Morrison returned a double-digit bulge for Catawba.  The Indians salted the game away, going 9-of-12 at the line over the final 2:03.

Catawba opens league play on Wednesday as the Indians host Lenoir-Rhyne at 7 pm.

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