College Basketball: Catawba pulls upset

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2006

By Horace Billings

Salisbury Post

HICKORY — Catawba’s men capped off year 2006 with a sparkling 92-70 victory over Augusta State in the final round of the annual Lenoir-Rhyne Moretz Basketball Classic Saturday.

The Indians used an outstanding shooting attack and a stout defense to notch their second straight Classic win. They defeated Barton 79-76 in the first round Friday.

With the two wins, the Indians could stake claim to the Classic crown. They were the only team to win both of its games.

Catawba (5-6) jumped off to a blazing start against Augusta State and did not let up.

Jim Baker’s team fired in 56.3 percent (18-of-32) in the first half while rolling up a 54-41 advantage.

Then the Indians defense took charge, holding Augusta State (8-3) to eight field goals and 29 points in the last half.

The Indians will resume their schedule Wednesday in a home game with Lenoir-Rhyne in the South Atlantic Conference.

“We came up here and played hard in both games,” said Baker. “We are playing real well. Our defense is the key for us. We did a real good job against Augusta State. We did not allow many points in the last half.”

Chris Wooldridge and Ahmad Murphy helped Catawba built a 47-28 lead with four minutes left in the half.

The Indians used their balanced scoring attack to stretch their led to 29 at 78-49 midway the last half.

Ten players took part in the scoring for Catawba. Five of them hit double figures.

Wooldridge led the attack with 18 points on 6-of-18 from the field and six of eight from the foul line.

Antonio Houston followed with 16, including three 3-pointers. Brian Graves scored 15, Rob Fields 12 and Norman Monroe 11.

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Horace Billings covers the Indians for the Post.

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