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Men’s basketball: Great effort by Indians falls short

Staff report

SALISBURY — Catawba’s men’s basketball team gave its best effort of the season on Wednesday, but in a snake-bit, injury-plagued campaign, it still wasn’t enough.

Todd Withers made a 3-pointer with six seconds left in overtime and lifted Queens, ranked third in Division II, to an 89-86  South Atlantic Conference win over the Indians.

Queens is 19-1 overall and 11-1 in the SAC, with its only loss coming to Lincoln Memorial. The Indians fell to 5-12 overall and 2-10 in the SAC. Catawba has lost three in a row and nine of its last 11.

Catawba led by seven with four minutes left in regulation. Queens whittled at the deficit, pulling within two on a pair of free throws by Withers with 1:35 left. Catawba got a free throw from Jordan Barber before the Royals cut it to 79-78 on a bucket by Shaun Willett.

TJ Jeffers gave the Indians an 80-78 edge with 1:02 to go ,and Catawba had possession after a missed Queens 3-pointer. A turnover with 19 seconds remaining led to a layup by Mike Davis to tie the game. Catawba could onl  manage a desperation 3-point try that failed at the end of regulation.

In the overtime period,  a steal and lay-in by Jerrin Morrison had the Indians up 86-84 with 1:39 to go, but Withers tied it after his own miss with 1:30 left.

Both teams turned the ball over in the final minute and Queens held for the last shot, with Withers connecting from the top of the key. Catawba failed to get off a final shot.

Morrison led Catawba with 26 points, while adding eight rebounds, six assists and six steals. Malik Constantine followed with 19 points and canned four 3-pointers. Johnson tossed in 15 points and Barber had 13.

Ike Agusi led five Queens players in double figures with 19 points. Mike Davis added 18 and Withers 16.

The Indians shot right at 50 percent and hit on 10-of-21 from behind the arc, one of their best nights from long range. Queens shot 52 percent.

Catawba travels to Tusculum on Saturday for a 4 p.m tip-off.

QUEENS (89) — Agusi 19, Davis 18, Withers 16, Willett 13, Alexander 11, Carr 8, Diankalu 4.

CATAWBA (86) —Morrison 26, Constantine 19, Johnson 15, Barber 13, Jeffers 6, Robinson 5, McRae 2, McLaughin, Cannon., Phillips.

Queens                47   33    9 —   89  

Catawba            40   40    6    — 86    

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