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College basketball: Taylor stars, but Catawba men come up short

Staff report

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Senior Jameel Taylor sparked Catawba’s signature win of this season at home against Lincoln Memorial.

Taylor tried his best to duplicate that feat on Saturday afternoon at Tex Turner Arena,  but the day belonged to LMU’s Railsplitters. They solidified their hold on second place in the South Atlantic Conference by beating the Indians, 81-74.

The game was meaningful in the Southeast Region, as well as the SAC. Catawba (19-7, 12-6) came into the game ranked fifth in the region, while LMU (20-56, 14-4) was seventh.

Taylor scored 29 points on 12-for-21 shooting. Catawba got 15 points and nine rebounds from Jordan McElveen, but Marcell Haskett, Devin Cooper, Daquan Lilly and Malike Constantine had quiet days. That foursome combined for only 13 points. Haskett, who has destroyed some opponents, shot 2-for-9. Jeremy McLaughlin had eight rebounds.

LMU freshman Julius Brown didn’t score when Catawba beat the Railsplitters in Salisbury, but he had 20 on Saturday. That changed a lot.  Catawba shut out LMU’s Cornelius Taylor in the first half, but he had 17 in the second half.

Catawba didn’t shoot very well — 39.4 percent from the field and 8-for-29 on 3-pointers.

Catawba had a substantial advantage on the glass, but LMU compensated by getting to the foul line more often. The Railsplitters used the foul line to win the game. They shot 23-for-27 on free throws.

Lincoln Memorial led by as many as 15 points and turned away several Catawba rallies in the second half.

Catawba made its final push with a 3-pointer by Jordan Barber and three-point play by Taylor to get within 72-69 with 1:32 left, but  LMU scored the game’s next five points on free throws.

CATAWBA (74) — J. Taylor 29, McElveen 15, Whitfield 8, Haskett 6, McLaughlin 4, Lilly 4,  Barber 4, Constantine 2, Cooper 1, Curry 1, Phillips, Zemonek.

LMU (81) —  J. Brown 20, C. Taylor 17, Calhoun 14, McCauley 10, Henry 9, Perriere 5, Dahling 2, Hackett 2, Brown 2.

Catawba     29     45    — 74

LMU            33    48   — 81

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