December 3, 2016
Men's Basketball Digs Out of Early Hole to Top Tusculum
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Catawba overcame an early 16-point deficit to earn its first South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball win of the season with an 89-86 victory over host Tusculum on Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Arena. The Catawba Indians improve to 6-2 overall and 1-2 in the SAC, while the Pioneers fall to 4-2 and 2-1.
The Indians survived a three-point try by Tusculum’s Ronnie Baylark at the buzzer to grab the three-point win. Troy Warren (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) had made two free throws with 14 seconds to play for the 89-86 lead. Baylark had cut a four-point deficit to a single point with a three-pointer just before Warren’s free throws.
Jameel Taylor (Anderson, S.C./Hanna) hit on 10-of-14 shots in scoring 23 points before fouling out with 1:05 remaining. Malik Constantine (Binghamton, N.Y./Olympic(NC) HS), playing in just his second game of the season after an injury, scored 20 points. The red-shirt freshman, who also missed most of last season, pulled down nine rebounds.
Cory Fagan led Tusculum with 21 points, canning four three-pointers. Zach Davis had 14 points, while Kendall Patterson notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. Baylark also scored 14 points with Keaton Dotson adding 10.
Tusculum hit seven of its first eight shots and led 23-7 after six and half minutes. The Indians would slice into the margin and 22-12 run over the final seven minutes to cut the lead to 46-43 at the break on Ben Sealey’s (Hampton, Va./Menchville/Va. Intermont) three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.
Catawba used a 12-0 run early in the second half to go on top 57-52. Taylor’s layup with 16:02 remaining gave the Indians their first lead since Taylor opened the game with a three-pointer. Catawba pushed the lead to as many as seven before the Pioneers rallied back to lead 72-71 with 5:39 to go on a three-pointer by Dotson.
Arrington’s two free throws with 4:56 remaining gave Catawba the lead for good, but the Indians had to survive the final minute. Taylor had the Indians up 82-74 after a layup with 2:08 left then three-pointer by Fagan and Baylark helped close the gap to a single point before Warren’s clutch free throws.
Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C./E. Mecklenburg) just missed a double-double for Catawba, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds. Rakeen Brown (Hampton, Va./Bethel/Delaware St.) had nine points on 9-of-10 shooting at the line.
Both teams shot 44% with Catawba holding a 46-41 edge on the glass. The Indians had just nine turnovers, five fewer than Tusculum. Catawba outscored the Pioneers 29-16 at the line which helped offset 10 made three-pointers by Tusculum.
Catawba will host Mars Hill next Saturday at 4 pm following the women’s game.
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