Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Takes Win Over LR

18_MBB_BarberJordanNBY

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba held off a late Lenoir-Rhyne comeback and posted an 84-77 win in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym. The Catawba Indians improve to 8-13 overall and 5-11 in the SAC, while the Bears fall to 9-13 and 7-9.

Catawba built a 17-point lead with 14 minutes remaining and still held a 10-point lead with three minutes remaining before a last charge from the Bears. Down 69-59 with 3:16 to go, LR scored eight straight points in just over 30 seconds to climb within 69-65 with 2:21 left.

Jordan Barber hit a pair of free throws then TJ Jeffers converted a layup off a steal to push the lead back to six. Barber raced up the court after a defense rebound for a layin and a 75-67 edge at the 1:37 mark.

A Jeffers free throw gave the Indians a 78-71 lead with 11:11 remaining, but Djibril Diallo made four straight at the line to make it 78-75. Catawba held on by going 4-for-4 at the line in the final 24 seconds.

Barber led four Catawba players in double figures with 17 points. He added nine rebounds. Jerrin Morrison also scored 17 points, while Jeffers tallied 16. Jeremy McLaughlin came off the bench for 13 points.

Diallo led all scorers in a losing effort for LR, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 boards. Cory Thomas netted 20 points with Bertrand Awana adding a dozen with eight rebounds.

Catawba shot 57% for the game and 64% (16-of-25) in the second half. LR struggled out of the gate, canning only 27% in the opening half and 38% for the game.

Catawba heads to Bluefield State for a non-conference matchup on Saturday at 4 pm.

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