Men’s College Basketball: Indians lose in opening round in regional

Published 10:50 pm Saturday, March 11, 2023



Staff report

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Catawba lost 88-79 to USC Aiken on Saturday night in the opening round of the Southeast Regional.

Fifth-seeded Catawba made only five turnovers, but was out-rebounded and out-shot by the fourth-seeded Pacers, the Peach Belt Conference regular-season champs.

Both teams shot very well — better than 50 percent — during a blistering first half that ended with the Pacers on top 50-46.

Catawba tied the game at 51-all early in the second half on a 3-pointer by Jerome Bivins, but the Pacers had a 7-0 run and were able to keep the lead the rest of the game.

Catawba (23-8) cooled off enough in the second half to finish at 39.4 percent.

USC Aiken, coached by West Rowan graduate Mark Vanderslice, shot almost 47 percent and won the boards 47-35. USC Aiken had 17 offensive rebounds.

Bivins made four 3-pointers and led the Indians with 16 points. DeAngelo Epps scored 12. Peyton Gerald and Ray Kowalski had 11 each. Javeon Jones scored 10.

For the Pacers (23-8), Tyler Johnson scored 24 and Jalen McCoy and Tehree Harris had 18 each.

USC Aiken will play top-seeded Augusta on Sunday.

Catawba   46   33    — 79

Augusta    50   38    — 88

Catawba — Bivins 16, Epps 12, Kowalski 11, Gerald 11, Jones 10, Nelson 8, Wallace 5, K. Robinson 4, Tinsley 2.

Augusta — Johnson 24, Harris 18, McCoy 18, Boyd 12, Dixon 10, Ndiaye 6.