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College basketball: Catawba men get first SAC win

Staff report

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Catawba’s men’s basketball team achieved that elusive first South Atlantic Conference win at Tusculum on Saturday.
It was a struggle that the Indians wouldn’t have won without 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman Malik Constantine, who lost the 2015-16 season to injuries and also started this season on the injured list. He made his highly anticipated season debut at North Greenville on Thursday and he produced 20 points and nine boards for the Indians in an 89-86 win at Tusculum.
On a day when high-scoring K.J. Arrington and Jerrin Morrison weren’t shooting well, Constantine was huge.
Catawba also got a fine outing from Jameel Taylor, who shot 10-for-14, and scored 23 points.
Morrison had nine rebounds.
Rakeen “Rock” Brown went 9-for-10 at the foul line. Catawba (6-2, 1-2 SAC) was 29-for-40 on free throws.
Tusculum (4-2, 2-1 SAC) led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but Catawba fought back and trailed 46-43 at halftime.
Catawba caught up early in the second half and seized a 53-52 lead on a layup by Taylor with 16 minutes left.
The critical juncture of the game arrived with five minutes left when Tusculum pushed back ahead, 74-73, on a Chase Mounce jump shot. But two free throws by Arrington and a dunk by Taylor put the Indians back on top to stay.
With Catawba clinging to slim leads late, Troy Warren and Brown delivered critical free throws. Brown made two with 21 seconds left, and Warren knocked down two with 14 seconds to go.
Tusculum had the final possession with a chance to tie but missed a 3-point attempt.
Cory Fagan scored 21 for the Pioneers.
Shooting percentages were very even, with Catawba checking in at 43.8 percent. Catawba had a big edge in second-chance points — 20-4.
Catawba hosts Mars Hill next Saturday afternoon.

Catawba 89, Tusculum 86

CATAWBA (89)
Taylor 23, Constantine 20, Morrison, Brown, Warren 7, Ingram 6, Arrington 6, McLaughlin 4,Sealey 3, McGregor 2.
TUSCULUM (86)
Fagan 21, Davis 15, Baylark 14, Patterson 14, Dotson 10, Mounce 8, Blevins 2, Dansoh 2.

Catawba 43 46 — 89
Tusculum 46 40 — 86

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