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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Suffers Another Tight Loss, Falling to Newberry in Overtime

SALISBURY, NC -- Newberry squandered a 20-point first-half lead, but behind 31 points from Dondray Walker (Fountain Inn, SC) the Wolves pulled out a 91-87 overtime win over host Catawba in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Wolves improve to 9-6 overall and 3-4 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 4-12 and 1-7.

Catawba had rallied back from a 29-9 deficit to go on top 73-65 with just over five minutes to play.  Walker hit a trio of three-pointers over a two minute span to pull the Wolves within 77-76 with 3:24 to go.  Newberry drew even on a three-pointer by Tomas Tomasson (Reykjavik, ICELAND) with 1:11 remaining.  Keon Moore (Colerain, NC/Bertie HS) put the Indians back on top with 39 seconds to play. 

Tyrece Little (Greenville, NC/Rose HS) blocked a pair of Newberry shots in the final 30 seconds before Savad Garner (Fountain Inn, SC) was awarded the tying basket with 17 seconds left on a goal tending call on what would have been Little’s school record ninth block.  Catawba missed a shot in the final seconds and Newberry’s 30-foot three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark and the two teams head to extra time for the third straight year at Goodman Gym. 

Newberry never trailed in overtime.  Brunes Charles (Naples, FL) made a free throw at the 4:23 mark and Walker followed home a miss off the second try for an 84-81 edge.  Consecutive layups by Tomasson upped the lead to 90-85 at the 1:25 mark.  Kelvin Drakeford (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School/Barton) got the Indians within 90-87 with 1:18 left, but the Indians misfired in the final minute with a chance to tie.  Chris Reynolds (Augusta, GA) iced the game with a free throw with nine seconds to play.

Walker connected on seven three-pointers in scoring his 31 points, with 21 coming after the half.  He added nine rebounds.  Garner and Charles each posted double-doubles for Newberry.  Garner delivered 15 points and 10 boards, while Charles had 13 points and 13 rebounds.  The Wolves shot just 35% in the win, compared to 52% for Catawba, but made 22-of-31 at the line while the Indians were 15-of-26.  Newberry also held a 53-45 edge on the boards and had six less turnovers.

Stuart Thomson (Poynton, ENGLAND/Poynton) came off the bench to lead a foul-laden Indian squad with 18 points and seven rebounds.  Drakeford had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Moore scored 15 points.  Little had a double-double as he added 13 points and 12 rebounds to his record-tying eight blocked shots.

Newberry raced to a 29-9 lead to start the game, connecting on five three-pointers in the opening 10 and half minutes.  Catawba settled down, scored the next 12 points, and tied the game at 33-all on a three-pointer by Conor Strickland (Raleigh, NC/Broughton HS) with 3:45 left before the half.  Newberry took a 39-35 lead to the break.

The Indians grabbed their first lead of the game with 11:05 to go on a layup by Thomson.  Walker put the Wolves up on another three-pointer at 63-60 with 8:47 remaining, but Catawba controlled the next three minutes to build its 73-65 edge.  Gilmore and Thomson each had two baskets in the 13-2 run that which was capped by four points from Little.  Walker then brought the Wolves back.

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