College Basketball: Catawba 91, Lenoir-Rhyne 85
By Horace Billings
Catawba’s men’s basketball team held off Lenoir-Rhyne’s Bears in the final minutes to take a 91-85 victory in their South Atlantic Conference opener at Goodman Gym on Wednesday night.
Catawba, ranked 14th nationally, sealed things by hitting 9 of 10 free throws in the final 1:25 of the game.
It was the seventh straight win for coach Jim Baker’s undefeated Indians. They are 1-0 in the SAC, while L-R fell to 3-3, 0-1.
It was a close battle all the way as the teams fought to a 37-37 tie at halftime.
The Indians fell behind 51-49 early in the last half but went on a 12-2 spurt ina three-minute span to build a 61-51 lead. Donald Rutherford tied the game and consecutive 3-pointers by Isaac Rose and Antonio Houston pushed the margin to six.
“We played hard all the way,” said Baker. “It was a typical college game. I’m happy the way we took charge and then stayed out front down the stretch.”
Catawba held a 71-59 edge with 5:14 remaining, but the Bears closed within four with 2:54 left on a pair of free throws by D.J. Blackmon at 74-70. Baskets by Dominick Reid and Houston put Catawba up by eight and the Bears never got closer than five the rest of the way as the Indians salted the victory away at the line.
The teams battled through 11 ties and 11 lead changes, mainly in the opening half.
Houston led the way with 22 points. Rob Fields was close behind with 20.
Also hitting double figures were Dominick Reid with 16, Rose with 11 and Donald Rutherford with 10.
Blackmon led the Bears with a career-high 28. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Catawba’s women hit a scoreless streak in the fading minutes and dropped a 79-64 decision to Lenoir-Rhyne in their opening South Atlantic Conference game at Goodman Gym on Wednesday night.
The Indians held a 64-63 lead with five minutes to go and failed to score again.
During that time, Lenoir-Rhyne scored 16 straight points to earn its sixth win against a single loss.
The loss left the Indians with a 4-4 record.
“It was a tough loss for us,” said Coach Angie Morton. “We played well until we hit the cold streak.”
After trailing by as many as eight in the second half, Brittany Higgins scored for a 64-63. lead. Catawba would not score again and the Bears would go 11-of-14 at the line down the stretch, including canning all eight in the final 47 seconds. The Bears dominated the glass, holding a 53-31 edge on the boards.
Higgins and Pamela Muldrow led the Lady Indians with 14 points apiece. Cameron Clark had 10.
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