Catawba men fall to Queens in SAC first round

Published 11:51 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Queens Sports Information

CHARLOTTE — The 20th-ranked Queens men’s basketball team broke a three-game losing streak in impressive fashion as it defeated Catawba, 96-86, here Wednesday night in the first round of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament.

Queens (24-5) advance to the tournament semifinals on Saturday in Greenville, S.C., playing Wingate.

Six Royals scored in double figures, led by Rob Lewis, who scored 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Lewis scored 15 of his points from beyond the arc and added seven assists in 34 minutes played. Marquis Rankin had a team-high nine assists to go along with his 15 points scored. Leading the team in rebounding was Todd Withers, who grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, in addition to adding 13 points.

Jared Hendryx protected the paint as he had all four of the Royals’ blocks in the game, grabbed four rebounds, and added 11 points.

Queens shot 58 percent from the field and assisted on 21-of-33 shots made in the game. The Royals were out-rebounded in the game, 37-32, but were able to take advantage of 16 points off of turnovers and nine fast break points.

The start of the game was very competitive with neither team being able to grab a sizable lead as Daniel Camps’ layup gave the Royals a three-point, 11-8 advantage, with just over three minutes played in the game. Minutes later, Catawba used a short 6-0 run to grab a 19-17 lead over the Royals after Jameel Taylor hit a three-pointer with 12:15 left to play in the first half.

Queens battled back to the lead by going on a 15-4 run over a seven-minute span that it a 34-25 lead after Kendall Jones hit a 3-pointer with just over four minutes to play until halftime. Queens would take a 46-36 lead into the locker room as Withers hit a corner 3-pointer with five seconds left on the clock.

The Royals came out of halftime with the intent to break the game wide open as they raced out to a quick 11-4 run, making the score 57-40, with 15:51 to play in the second half. Queens would continue to pile up points as they increased their lead to 22 points, in what would be their largest lead of the game at 71-49, as Jacoby Davis splashed home a 3-pointer with 11:12 left on the game clock.

The Indians weren’t done as they responded with a 14-5 run that would cut the Royals lead down to 13 points, 76-63, with just under eight minutes to play. Queens would not allow Catawba to cut the deficit into single digits at any point, going into full court defense to throw off the Indians’ offense. Withers would put an exclamation point on the Royals victory as he put home an explosive dunk with 1:34 remaining that gave the Royals a 94-78 lead. Catawba would end the game on an 8-0 run, but the damage was already done.

Catawba was led by Taylor who scored a game-high 25 points (17 of which came in the first half), on 7-of-18 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 shooting from the free throw line. With 14 points, Troy Warren was the team’s second leading scorer and was also the team’s leading rebounder with eight boards.

Catawba ends its season at 12-17.