Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Holds Off Tusculum For Fifth-Straight Win


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba held off a late Tusculum rally to post an 83-79 victory in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym. The Catawba Indians improve to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the SAC, while the Pioneers fall to 3-5 and 0-2.

Daquan Lilly and Malik Constantine both produced double-doubles in helping lead Catawba to its fifth straight win. Lilly had 22 points and 11 boards, while Constantine added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jameel Taylor had 19 points with Marcell Haskett knocking down 18 in the victory.

In a tight battle most of the way, Catawba eased out to the game’s largest lead in the final five minutes. Using a 10-2 run, the Indians went up 77-68 with 3:15 left. Catawba would struggle at the line in the last minute and a half as Tusculum got back into the contest.

After a Taylor free thrown put Catawba up 80-72 with 1:28 to go, the Indians hit just one of its next seven at the line and the Pioneers were able to close the gap to 81-79 following a three-point play by Tariq Jenkins with 25 seconds left.  Devin Cooper hit the second of two free throws with 20 seconds to play and Constantine grabbed a rebound after a missed Pioneer three-pointer, adding the final point with 11 ticks remaining.

The game was evenly played with both teams grabbing 39 rebounds and shooting just under 50%. Catawba canned 28-of-58 (48%) and the Pioneers 32-of-70 tries (46%). Tusculum had 10 turnovers to 11 for the Indians. Catawba made seven three-pointers to five for Tusculum.

Haskett led Catawba to a 39-36 halftime edge, canning all five of his three-point attempts for 15 of his 18 points. Lilly had 16 of his points in the final half with Taylor adding a dozen. Ben Zemonik was the fifth Indian in double figures in scoring with 13 points.

"Tusculum disrupted us on the glass in the first half and we obviously left some points off the board by missing some late free throws," said Catawba Head Coach Rob Perron. "We passed the torch during the game. Marcell carried us in the first hlaf and Daquan and Jameel took turns in the second half."

Trenton Gibson led Tusculum with 21 points. Caleb Hodnett added a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jenkins tallied 18 off the bench for the Pioneers, while Dillon Smith added a dozen. The Pioneers blocked eight shots, including four by Brandon Mitchell.

The Indians will travel to Elizabeth City State on Tuesday for a 7 pm tip-off with the Vikings.

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