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College men’s basketball: SAC road loss for Catawba

Staff report

ANDERSON, S.C. — Very little went right for Catawba’s men’s basketball in an 82-80 upset loss at Anderson on Saturday.

Catawba battled back from an 11-point deficit in the second half of the South Atlantic Conference contest and tied the game in the final seconds.

With 24th-ranked Catawba (13-4, 6-3) trailing 80-76, Jeremy McLaughlin grabbed an offensive board, was fouled and made two free throws with 22 seconds left. After a turnover by Anderson, Jameel Taylor’s step-back jumper tied the game at 80-all with 11 seconds left.

But Catawba’s Marcell Haskett was called for a foul with two seconds left, and Anderson’s Shawn Benard, who hadn’t made a field goal all day, knocked down two clutch free throws that proved decisive.

The Indians have several athletes playing through ailments and are still playing without Carter Phillips. They used a lot of emotion and energy in big-time battles with Lincoln Memorial (a win) and Queens (a one-point loss) in recent games. There were reasons to struggle, but it was still a disappointing setback that will hurt in the conference race.

Taylor, the Indians’ leader, is from Anderson. He may have tried too hard and struggled playing in his hometown. He shot 2-for-14 and scored only seven points.

Haskett, a brilliant shooter when he’s on, also had a sub-par day, 3-for-12, for eight points.

Catawba shot 40.3 percent as a team, well below the norm, made only four 3-pointers and missed 11 of 29 free throws.

Catawba had fewer turnovers (16-11) and a lot more total rebounds (48-32) and offensive boards (24-6), but the Trojans managed to compensate with superior shooting.

Catawba shot 36 percent in the second half, while the home team was shooting 50 percent.

Anderson (10-7, 4-5) hit 49 percent from the field for the game, made nine 3-pointers and went 17-for-19 on free throws.

Devin Cooper led the Indians with 16 points. McLaughlin contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds. Daquan Lilly scored 11. Ben Zemonek offered 10 points and eight rebounds.

Gage Ellis scored 20 for the Trojans. Randall Shaw had 19, and Josh Livingstone came off the bench to add 15. Jeremy Bouton scored 11 and had key rebounds late in the game.

Catawba plays at Lenoir-Rhyne on Wednesday.

CATAWBA (80) — Cooper 16, McLaughlin 11, Lilly 11, Zemonek 10, Haskett 8, McElveen 8, Taylor 7, Johnson 4, Constantine 4, Barber 1, Whitfield.

ANDERSON (82) — Ellis 20, Shaw 19, Livingston 15, Bouton 11, Boynton 8, Benard 6, Simpson 3, Hester, Edwards.

Catawba    36   44    — 80

Anderson  39    43    — 82

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