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College Basketball: Catawba men hold on

Staff report

SALISBURY —Catawba’s men’s basketball team rarely allows coach Rob Perron a chance to relax.

Up 20 points at halftime and by 25 in the second half, Catawba still had to battle at Goodman Gym to hold off Coker, 87-80, for a South Atlantic Conference win on Wednesday.

Catawba (13-6, 7-6 SAC) put five players in double figures. The Cobras (6-13, 3-10 SAC) put six in double digits.

As was the case in Saturday’s win against Tusculum, Catawba suffered through a second-half scoring famine that enabled the Cobras to trim their deficit to as few as five points.

Catawba led 65-41 with 15 minutes left before scoring only two baskets in 10 minutes. Jalal Abdul-Azeez scored nine straight for the Cobras to bring the guests within 67-55 with 11:20 to go. Nathan Lemke hit a 3-pointer and a layup, and the margin was just 67-60 with nine minutes left.

Coker got to within 69-64 with 5:48 left before a jumper from Andrew Ingram and a 3-pointer by Jerrin Morrison (got Catawba back to a double-digit lead. Morrison would assist on Ingram’s three-point play and a layup by KJ Arrington put the Indians up 81-68 with 1:26 to go.

Jameel Taylor led Catawba with 18 points, while grabbing nine rebounds and handing out six assists. Ingram collected 17 points, with Rakeen Brown tossing in 13. Arrington had 12 and Morrison 10. Morrison pulled down eight rebounds and delivered seven assists.

Catawba is at Mars Hill on Saturday for a 4 p.m tip. Catawba won the first meeting, 90-70.

COKER (80) — Lemke 13, Abdul-Azeez 11, Barrett 10, Priest 10, Motley 10, Hall 10, Williams 4, Jackson 4, Cooper 4, Brewington 2, Leftwich 2.

CATAWBA (87) — Taylor 18, Ingram 17, Brown 13, Arrington 12, Morrison 10, Warren 8, McLaughlin 4, Sealey 3, McGregor 2, Robinson, Barber.

Coker                32    48     — 80

Catawba          52     35   —   87

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