Men’s basketball: Catawba loses another close one

Published 10:43 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Staff report

WINGATE — Catawba’s men’s basketball gave an inspired performance for most of  Wednesday’s South Atlantic Conference game, but the Indians couldn’t hold a double-digit lead and lost at Wingate’s Cuddy Arena, 84-80.

Jerrin Morrison was the only Indian in double figures, but his 27-point effort gave the Indians (6-13, 3-11) a chance to spring the upset. Malik Constantine pulled down 10 rebounds and scored nine points, while T.J. Jeffers had eight assists.

Zeriq Lolar and Emerius Logan led the Bulldogs with 19 points each.

While Catawba is in serious danger of failing to finish in the top eight and qualifying for the league tournament, Wingate (11-10, 8-5)  finished a season sweep of the Indians and maintained a firm grip on fourth place.

After Catawba missed a chance in the lane, Logan made clutch free throws for the Bulldogs with 13 seconds left for an 82-78 Wingate lead. After a Carter Phillips tip-in cut Catawba’s deficit to two points, Logan made two more free ones with four seconds left to seal victory.

Catawba shot the ball extremely well, making 12 of 23 3-pointers. Morrison was 5-for-9 from the bonus distance.

Hot shooting propelled Catawba to a 38-28 halftime lead. Catawba’s advantage peaked at 43-30 early in the second half, but the Bulldogs recovered and made their own run. Wingate was excellent from the 3-point line, making 11 of 24 from long range, and the Bulldogs were 14-for-16 on free throws.

Catawba was only 7-for-15 at the foul line. That hurt.

Catawba stays on the road on Saturday at Anderson.

CATAWBA (80) — Morrison 27, Constantine 9,  Phillips 8, Cannon 8, R. Robinson 7, Barber 7, Johnson 7,  Jeffers 5, McLaughlin 2, Childress.

WINGATE (84) —Lolar 19, Logan 19, Haskins 16,  Farley 14, Christian 10, N. Robinson 6, Browne, Huebner, Hovasse, Taylor.

Catawba    38  42 —  80

Wingate    28  56 — 84