Seventh-Seeded Catawba Upends Trojans

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – Catawba’s Dominick Reid dropped in a lay-up at the buzzer to lift the seventh-seeded Catawba Indians to an 85-83 win past No. two-seed Anderson in quarterfinal action of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament Wednesday night at a packed Abney Athletic Center.

Catawba (13-14) moves on to face third-seeded Wingate in the tourney semifinals Saturday at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C. The Indians and Bulldogs will tip off at 8 p.m.

Anderson drops to 18-11 on the season and will await the outcome of the 2011 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championships’ selection announcements Sunday night at 10 p.m., following the conclusion of the conference tournaments. The Trojans were ranked sixth in the latest in the latest NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings – with the top eight teams in the region earning a bid to the Big Dance.

The two teams split during the regular season, with each winning on its home court and both squads were hot from the field Wednesday, with the Trojans posting their second-highest shooting accuracy of the season (59.3 percent) from the field, including a season-high 52.4 percent from beyond the arc. Catawba earned its fourth consecutive win by connecting on 50.8 percent from the field.

Junior Nick Trull, who was honored at halftime for scoring his 1,000th career point last Saturday, led three Trojans in double figures with a season-high 27 points. The 6-foot-2 guard connected on 10-of-12 from the field, including 7-of-9 from long range. Senior Kevis Cornwell added 15 points, while Brandon Young netted 13 points and dished out a game-high six assists. Forward Trey Britton garnered a game-high seven rebounds on the night.

Reid, the reigning SAC Player of the Week, tallied a game-high 30 points and guard Keon Moore tallied 19 points and five boards. Junior Justin Huntley added 17 points and four assists.  

The Trojans opened up a double-digit lead midway through the first half behind an 11-2 run over a four-minute span, with Cornwell sparking the outburst with a jumper and Young answering a Catawba basket with a 3-pointer. Trull then connected on back-to-back 3s to boost AU’s lead to 23-13 with 10:45 left in the half.

Freshman guard Denzail Jones seven of the Trojans’ next 10 points to push Anderson’s lead to 34-17 at the 7:19 mark. But Catawba refused to surrender, chipping away at the AU advantage and eventually took its first lead, 42-41, since the opening two minutes on a lay-up by Reid with less than three seconds left before halftime.

The second frame featured five ties and six lead changes, with neither team able to gain more than an eight-point advantage, as the Trojans edged out to an 82-74 lead with 3:19 remaining. The Indians erased their deficit by connecting on three-of-four 3-point attempts inside the final two minutes, while Young dropped in one-of-two free throw attempts at the 1:28 mark to set up Reid’s final heroics. 

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