Men’s Basketball: Catawba evens SAC record
By Mike London
SALISBURY —Talented redshirt freshman R.J. Robinson, a 6-foot-4 guard, is about the 12th man for Catawba, but he might be the main man at Brevard, a school that is transitioning from Division II athletics to Division III.
There’s a massive talent disparity between Brevard and Catawba, and the Indians romped to an 81-46 win against the Tornados on Sunday evening at Goodman Gym.
Catawba’s reserves frequently battered Brevard’s starters. Robinson got 17 minutes and made the most of them, shooting 5-for-6 for 11 points and yanking down six rebounds.
“I got more minutes today and I was able to find a groove,” Robinson said. “But it was K.J. Arrington who got us going.”
There was no doubt about that. Arrington shot 9-for-13 on his way to 24 entertaining points. He had two dunks and converted on a couple of circus shots no one had ever seen attempted — much less made.
“Troy (Warren) was doing a good job rolling and drawing a lot of attention, and K.J. was getting the ball with chances to drive it ,” Catawba coach Rob Perron said. “He was scoring efficiently. He gave us some separation.”
Arrington made so many good decisions that Catawba outscored Brevard in the paint, 52-20. That was the key stat.
Catawba (10-4, 4-4 SAC) shot 54.2 percent for the game and better than 64 percent on two-point tries. That was in stark contrast to 25.4-percent shooting by the Tornados. Brevard (2-13, 0-8 SAC) was a miserable 4-for-28 on 3-pointers.
“We did a decent job defensively in the first half,” Perron said. “In the second half, I thought they had a lot of looks — they just missed.”
Ben Sealey opened the action with a 3-pointer.
When Arrington got the ball low to Jeremy McLaughlin for a three-point play midway through the first half, it was 18-4, and it didn’t appear Brevard would ever score again.
The Indians left comfortably at halftime, 43-20.
When Arrington began the second half with two quick buckets, the lead was 27 points, and it was over. Arrington, Jameel Taylor and Jerrin Morrison, Catawba’s big scorers, watched reserves handle most of the second half.
“No, Brevard isn’t as good as most of the teams in our league,” Robinson said. “But I thought we would’ve beaten a lot of opponents today. We shared the ball. Our defense was pretty good.”
Thirteen Indians played, and 13 Indians scored. Peyton Pappas, a skilled freshman guard who doesn’t play often, contributed four assists in 12 minutes. He would’ve had more assists if some layups had been converted.
“There’s no drill for experience,” Perron said. “Games like this can be really valuable for guys like Pappas and Robinson.”
Morrison played very well with 12 points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes. Taylor only shot twice and scored five points, but he filled the stat sheet with seven rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
It will get a lot tougher for the Indians this week. They go to Wingate on Wednesday, and they’ll be on the road a lot in the next few weeks. Malik Costantine, a very important guy if Catawba is going to compete against the SAC’s better teams, didn’t play Sunday but looked close to returning to action.
Parris 12, Johnson 11, Williams 10, El Diraoui 5, Lamb 4, Bostick 4, Turner, Singh, Bergen.
Arrington 24, Morrison 12, Robinson 11, Warren 6, Ingram 5, McLaughlin 5, Taylor 5, Sealey 3, McGregor 2, Barber 2, Pappas 2, Brown 2, Davis 2.
Brevard 20 26 — 46
Catawba 43 38 — 81