SAC Basketball: Hash tags Catawba for 38 points
SALISBURY — The SAC’s best free-throw shooter hurt Catawba from all over Goodman Gym on Saturday.
Chandler Hash, a 6-foot guard, not only went 12-for-12 from the foul line where he’s close to 90 percent on the season, he buried six 3-pointers and piled up 38 points in an 80-64 win over the Indians.
Catawba limited Anderson’s Denzail Jones, holding the SAC’s cobra-quick scoring leader to 14 points, but they had no answer for Hash.
“Hash made shots when we left him open, but he also made some tough ones from over by the scorer’s table,” Catawba coach Jim Baker said. “Anderson relies on the 3-pointer a lot, and I hoped we could close that down, but we didn’t.”
Lee Martin and Vismantas Marijosius led the Indians (7-13, 4-8) with 12 points each, while Elon Edwards finished with 11.
Martin’s three 3s spurred Catawba to a solid first half in which the Indians shot 54.2 percent. Catawba led by nine early against the Trojans, who are tied for first in the SAC, but it was tied 36-all at the break.
“That made six straight pretty good halves we’d strung together,” Baker said. “But then the wheels came off in the second half. It was like we were moving in quicksand.
Martin drilled a 3-pointer to open the second half, but he picked up his second and third fouls in a blink. Those whistles were the trigger for a second-half collapse by the Indians.
“Lee was a big part of everything we’d worked on for this game,” Baker said. “He got in foul trouble, and I got upset. We’ve got some emotional guys on this team, and they got upset.”
Meanwhile, Hash wasn’t upset, and he was calmly making everything.
Hash tied the game at 39-all with a 3-pointer and made two free throws after a drive. Then got into the lane for a three-point play. Then he drove the baseline and whipped a pass to D.J. McGowan in the left corner for an open 3 and a 47-41 Anderson lead.
With Martin sitting, Catawba’s primary options were Tyrece Little inside and Elon Edwards outside.
Neither was connecting. Little was 0-for-8 after halftime, while Edwards was 1-for-12. It’s not like they put up bad shots. They just didn’t go in.
“When Little gets it, all you can do is wall up and try to make him shoot over you,” Anderson coach Jason Taylor said. “Our big guys did a nice job, but Little is so good that if he’s on, he makes those shots, anyway. Fortunately for us, he didn’t make them.”
Hash, on the other hand, was on. He had 32 twice this season in SAC games and he scored 24 when Anderson (14-6, 10-2) beat Catawba in OT in December, but on this day he was an All-American.
“It’s not like it was a routine day,” he said with a grin. “My teammates did a great job of setting picks to get me open and they got me the ball. I’m basically a shooter, and I let it fly.”
Baker brought Martin back with the Indians down seven points. His fourth foul came moments later, and the Trojans quickly stretched their lead to a dozen when Jones soared for a jumper and then a layup.
Martin’s fifth foul, accompanied by a technical foul and a flurry of Hash free throws, put the visitors up by 16 points with 7:29 left, and it was over.
“Catawba has a lot of guys who can fill it up, but we were playing well on the defensive end,” Hash said. “When we play solid defensively, that’s when we start flowing on offense.”
Basically minus Martin, and with Little and Edwards setting records for in-and-outs, Catawba shot 28.6 percent in the second half. Marijosius and Chris Watson played well, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
“I was disappointed we couldn’t make a better game of it,” Baker said.
After Anderson kept a share of first place in the league, Taylor was anything but disappointed.
“There’s not a team anywhere with more young talent than Catawba,” he said. “They play hard and they’ve got a lot of shotmakers. I feel like we beat the best seven-win team in the country, so it’s a great road win for us.”ANDERSON (80) — Hash 38, D. Jones 14, Holston 9, M. Jones 6, McGowan 5, Sledge 4, Ross 4.
CATAWBA (64) — Martin 12, Marijosius 12, Edwards 11, Watson 9, Little 7, Perkins 5, Coleman 4, Sampah 4, Houston.Anderson 36 44 — 80Catawba 36 28 — 64