SALISBURY, N.C. --- The Catawba College men's basketball team placed three players in double figures, and outscored visiting Lees-McRae College by a 43-28 margin in the first half en route to an 83-62 win in non-conference play on Wednesday evening.
Catawba (2-1) posted a field goal percentage of 49.2 percent on the night, including a blistering 60.7 percent clip in the first half, while holding Lees-McRae (0-3) to a mark of 34.7 percent from the floor. The Catawba Indians won the battle on the glass by a 49-35 margin, out-rebounding the Bobcats by a 35-20 stretch on the defensive boards while holding a 21-9 advantage in second chance points.
Charles Clarke (Orlando, Fla.) led the way for Lees-McRae with 11 points and three assists, while Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) and Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) both added nine markers. Henry, Sepokas, and Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) each chipped in five boards as Corey Young (Bluff City, Tenn.) posted a team-high four assists, three steals, and two blocks.
Tyrece Little led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Catawba, adding a double-double with a game-high 12 boards to go along with a contest-best three blocks. Julian Sampah chipped in 11 markers with a 4-for-5 night from the floor, while Maurice Knight added 11 boards and seven points.
Catawba never trailed in the contest, opening the game on a 6-0 run before Lees-McRae cut the margin to 8-7 on a clutch three-pointer by Sepokas with 14:31 to go in the half. The Catawba Indians would respond with a 13-0 surge, pushing the lead to 21-7 following a triple by Nick Houston at the 8:24 mark.
After Lees-McRae answered with a pair of buckets from Henry and Sepokas to trim the margin to 10 at 21-11, Catawba countered with a 20-7 run over the next five minutes to push the lead to 41-18 with 2:24 left in the half. The Bobcats would respond with a late surge, closing the gap to 43-28 after Clarke and DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) each knocked down a triple in the last minute of the half.
Catawba responded in the second half, opening the period on a 12-6 run to widen the margin to 55-34 following an emphatic put back by Little with 14:22 to play. The Bobcats would keep pace the rest of the way, matching the Catawba Indians down the stretch as Catawba closed out the win with a pair of late buckets by Chris Watson and Davis Emerson with just over a minute to play.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Charlotte, N.C. to open their Conference Carolinas schedule against Queens University of Charlotte at 4 p.m.
- LMC -