College basketball: Taylor leads Catawba men to road win
By Mike London
RALEIGH — Catawba men’s basketball coach Rob Perron gets paid to worry, so he was concerned about Monday’s road trip to St. Augustine’s.
St. Augustine’s does not have a good record, but it was Catawba’s first game in 12 days, and the Indians have one important player (Carter Phillips, fractured foot) out and several others, including standout Daquan Lilly, operating at far less than 100 percent.
Veteran Jameel Taylor, who recently joined the 1,500-point club, took care of a lot of the stress, shooting 9-for-12 from the field and scoring 23 points to lead a 75-53 victory over the Falcons (2-9).
“Jameel dominated the game in a lot of ways,” Catawba head coach Rob Perron said. “He was very efficient as far as his scoring, he defended really well and he distributed the ball well. We ran some sets for him and he made the right read every time. He got to the rim a lot and he made some nice drop-offs for layups.”
Marcell Haskett got the Indians (9-2) off to a good start, as they put a disappointing outing at Wingate in the rearview mirror. Haskett was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and scored 13 points.
Playing in his hometown, Ben Zemonek shot 5-for-6 and scored 11 points.
“We had a lot of people there with Zemonek and Lilly being from Raleigh,” Perron said.
Catawba shot 59.1 percent from the field and had a large rebounding edge.
Catawba turned it over 21 times. At least six of those were on what Perron described as “push-off charges.”
“We were able to play a lot of guys, we had really good shot selection and we defended well,” Perron said. “There were a lot of positives. (Veteran post player) Jeremy McLaughlin was good. They went about eight minutes without scoring much, and he was a big part of that.”
Catawba was up 32-21 at halftime and led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
Catawba has another road game that it will be favored to win on Wednesday when it goes to Southern Wesleyan (2-10).
On Saturday, the Indians will return to South Atlantic Conference action at Carson-Newman. After that, Catawba will be at Goodman Gym for three straight SAC home games against Coker, Lincoln Memorial and Queens.
CATAWBA (75) — Taylor 23, Haskett 13, Zemonek 11, Johnson 7, Cooper 5, McLaughlin 4, McElveen 4, Lilly 4, Whitfield 2, Constantine 2, Robinson, Barber, Jeffers.
ST. AUGUSTINE’S (53) — Ruffin 11, Brown 10, Gaddy 7, George 7, Baldwin 7, Edwards 5, Gathright 2, Ames 2, Harrison 2.
Catawba 32 43 — 75
St. Augustine’s 21 32 — 53