Eagles Struggle to Slow Down Catawba in 85-75 Loss
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Carson-Newman men’s
basketball couldn’t overcome a season-best shooting
performance by Catawba as the Eagles fell to the Indians, 85-75, on
Wednesday night in South Atlantic Conference action at Holt
With the loss, the Eagles fall to 8-10 on the season and 3-5 in the conference, while the Indians improve to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in SAC play.
Catawba shot 62.5 percent (35-of-56) from the floor, including 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from 3-point range.
“Catawba is a very good team,” C-N head coach Dale Clayton said. “They were picked to finish near the top (of the SAC) and they’ve got veteran guys that really made plays. They are a hard win whenever you play them. When they shoot it like they did tonight, then it’s almost impossible.”
The Eagles scored at a 49.2 percent (30-of-61) clip but they struggled at the free-throw line, where they were just 8-of-22.
“We shot very poor from the free-throw line,” Clayton said. “What is interesting about that is we spent a lot of time on that this week, but you couldn’t tell. When guys start missing free throws, it starts to get into their head and it affects other things."
Forwards Quinche Dowdell (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Tray Okoth (Richmond, Va.) netted 15 points apiece to lead C-N, while seniors Darron Maxtion (Huntsville, Ala.) and Jordan Dixon (Clinton, Tenn.) tossed in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Cameron Sharp (Knoxville, Tenn.) added eight points, five assists and three steals.
Catawba senior forward Donald Rutherford (Morganton, N.C.) fired in a career-high 30 points on 14-of-17 shooting to carry the Indians, while Rob Fields (Orangeburg, S.C.) pitched in 20 points and Antonio Houston (Charlotte, N.C.) added 15. The trio combined to shoot 26-of-37 from the field.
“We had no answer for those guys,” Clayton said. “They just had one of those nights.”
The Eagles had a solid start to the contest as the built an early 20-12 lead, but Catawba stormed back to take the lead for good with a 12-2 run.
The Indians held a 48-37 advantage heading into the locker room and they put the game out of reach by pushing their lead to 56-39 early in the second half.
The Eagles were unable to cut Catawba’s lead below nine points the rest of the way.
C-N returns to the hardwood on Saturday in a SAC matchup at Newberry. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Eleazer Arena in Newberry, S.C. C-N defeated Newberry 85-54 in their first meeting this season on Jan. 2 at Holt Fieldhouse.