Basketball (W)

Catawba Drops Third Straight

HICKORY, N.C. – When Catawba men’s basketball team found their offensive stroke, the deficit to Lenoir-Rhyne at Shuford Memorial Gym was too much to overcome Wednesday.

The Indians fell to fourth in the South Atlantic Conference at 13-5 overall and 6-4, one game behind their rivals from Hickory.

A 73-65 win by the Bears moved them up to third at 7-3 in league play and 14-4 on the campaign.

Catawba's senior guard Jameel Taylor led all scorers with 17 points, hitting six of his 13 attempts from the field. His 1,658 career points moved him to seventh on the Indians' All-Time Scoring list.

Trailing 37-18 after the first 20 minutes of play, Catawba scrambled and made a furious attempt at a comeback, falling eight points shy. Taylor’s jumper in the paint with 6:09 remaining, trimmed the Indians’ deficit to single digits, at 59-51. That was the smallest deficit since trailing 13-6, five and a half minutes into the contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne kept Catawba from getting closer until Marcell Haskett’s 3-pointer cut the margin to 69-65 with 22 seconds remaining. A pair of free throws and a lay-up by the Bears constituted their final margin of victory.

The Bears jumped out to an early lead and controlled the game from the start.

Heading to their respective benches for the first media timeout four minutes, nine seconds into the contest, Catawba trailed 10-2. Khaileel Dailey’s jumper with four seconds before the break gave the Bears their biggest lead of the contest at 19.

Devin Cooper and Jordan McElveen finished in double figures for the Indians with 14 and 13 points. Ben Zemonek grabbed a team high 12 rebounds.

Jonathan Jean led Lenoir-Rhyne with 16 points. Cory Thomas added 13 points and R.J. Gunn dropped in 11 points.

Inside the Numbers:
- Taylor needs 16 points and eight steals to crack the top five on Catawba’s All-Time List.
- Three of Catawba’s five losses came in the last three contests.
- The Indians went 7-for-30 (23.3 percent) from the field in the first half, missing all seven shots from 3-point range.
- Catawba outscored the Bears 36-24 in the paint and 13-6 in second-chance points.
- Lenoir-Rhyne went 20-27 (74 percent) from the free-throw line, while the Indians made 11-of-16 (69 percent.

Next Up:
The men face Tusculum in Greeneville, Tennessee Saturday, closing out a three-game road trip. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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