SALISBURY, N.C. – Despite senior Randall Shaw's game-high 25 points, No. 2-seeded Catawba outlasted seventh-seeded Anderson, 97-77, in the opening round of the 2019 South Atlantic Conference Pilot Flying J Men's Basketball Tournament, Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.
Anderson saw its season end with a 16-13 record, while Catawba (22-7), which was ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Southeast Region poll, moves on to the SAC Tournament semifinals in Greenville, S.C., and will face sixth-seeded Wingate on Saturday. The Bulldogs upended No. 3 seeded Lincoln Memorial, 80-78, earlier Wednesday night.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Shaw scored 17 points in the opening half and was 10-of-11 from the charity stripe on the night. Senior Kevin Simpson added 16 points off the bench, with senior Jeremy Bouton netting 13 points. Junior guard Shaw Benard added 10 points, with sophomore forward Josh Livingston pulling down a game-high seven rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After falling behind, 31-16, midway through the opening half and still trailing by double digits with more than six minutes left in the frame, the Trojans posted a 16-3 scoring outburst over the next five minutes to take their first lead since the opening basket of the game, at 40-37.
Bouton sparked the rally with a 3-pointer, while Shaw and Simpson added six points and four points, respectively, to fuel the comeback, while the Indians scored the final four points of the half to set the margin at 41-40 at the break.
The Trojans were still within one, at 46-45, at the 17:45 mark, but Catawba reeled off a 24-6 run over the next five minutes to build an insurmountable 19-point cushion with 12:46 on the clock.
AU trimmed the deficit to a dozen on two occasions inside the seven-minute mark, but was unable to get any closer.
• Catawba won the rebounding battle, 35-23.
• Anderson made its third straight appearance in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament and its seventh overall appearance since joining the conference for the 2010-11 campaign.
• The Trojans are 5-7 in their seven appearances in the postseason SAC Tournament.
• Tonight marked the fourth meeting between Anderson and Catawba in the SAC Tournament, with the series now deadlocked at two wins apiece.