By Horace Billings
Tusculum scored eight points in the fading minutes Saturday and took a 65-61 decision against Catawba at Goodman Gym.
The Pioneers led only three times in the game.
Tusculum started its game-winning rally when Jordan Lear made a three-point play to tie the score at 60-60 with 2:21 left.
Antonio Houston gave the lead back to the Indians at 61-60 with 2:05 remaining.
Lear returned to the free-throw line a few seconds later and made two free throws to put the Pioneers ahead again, 62-61.
The Indians then missed a field goal, and the Pioneers got the ball. Robert Troutman was fouled and made two free throws, giving Tusculum a 64-61 advantage with 21.7 seconds left, and after a Catawba miss, Tusculum’s Darren Hobbs got the ball. He, too, was fouled and added a free throw to make it 65-61.
“We had our chances to win, but we let them slip away from us,” Catawba coach Jim Baker said. “We played good defense early, but we made mistakes down the stretch. They took advantage of them and won the game.”
Baker praised Norman Monroe for a fine effort. Monroe fired in 22 points for the Indians, who made 36.2 percent (21 of 58) of their shots from the field. Isaac Rose followed with 11 points.
Lear paced the Pioneers with 24. Tusculum improved to 3-7 in the SAC and 9-13 overall, while Catawba is 3-6 in the SAC and 11-10 overall.
TUSCULUM (65) ó Lear 24, Jeter 11, Moore 11, Ry.Troutman 8, Hobbs 4, Ro.Troutman 3, Kostic 2, Boone 2.
CATAWBA (61) ó Monroe 22, Rose 11, Fields 7, Houston 5, Williams 5, Sossamon 4, Reid 3, Diggs 2, Burns 2, Magnusson.
Tusculum 29 36 ó 65
Catawba 31 30 ó 61