Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Gets Important Win at Coker

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HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba got a late basket by Jeremy McLaughlin, who also blocked a Coker three-point try with a second to go, as the Catawba Indians pulled out a 79-77 win over the host Cobras in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at the DeLoach Center. The Catawba Indians improve to 10-13 overall and 6-11 in the SAC, moving into a three-way tie for seventh in the league. Coker falls to 11-14 and 8-8.

In a game that featured 14 ties and 16 lead changes, McLaughlin snapped the last tie with a layup with 14 seconds to play. The junior would block a Coker three-point try from the corner with a second to go and Jerrin Morrison tipped away a lob attempt on the ensuing inbound play to secure the victory.

Morrison finished with a game-high 22 points and collected a double-double by adding 10 rebounds. McLaughlin and John McRae each added a dozen points with Jordan Barber hitting for 10. Barber added six assists and three steals, while TJ Jeffers added five assists, including one on the game-winner to McLaughlin.

Down one at the break, the Indians moved ahead 63-58 on a tip in by McLaughlin with 9:50 to play. Coker rallied back, using a 13-2 run to go up 71-65 on a three-pointer by Khalil Hall with 6:01 left. Two free throws by Morrison, a layup by McLaughlin and a dunk by McRae tied the game with 4:56 remaining. A McRae free throw completed a three-point play for a 72-71 edge.

Demarco Jackson gave the Cobras a 75-73 lead with four minutes left, but two free throws by Barber and a basket by McLaughlin regained the lead for Catawba at 77-75 with 2:02 remaining. Donte Samuels hit two free throws to bring Coker even with 1:38 left then both teams missed shots on their next possessions to set up the final seconds.

Catawba shot 51% in the win, including 54% in the second half when the Cobras made just 39%. The Indians used a plus-seven margin on the boards to offset seven more turnovers.

Samuels led Coker with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Halls and Jake Barrett also scored 15 points. Marquis Green chipped in with 10 points.

Catawba hosts Carson-Newman in its final home game of the year on Saturday at 4 pm. Catawba will recognize its 1982-83 championship team at halftime.

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