Turnovers, second-half swoon haunt Railsplitters in 96-83 loss at Catawba

SALISBURY, N.C. - The Railsplitters committed a season-high 20 turnovers while the Catawba Indians opened the second half with a 21-5 run to secure a 96-83 win in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon inside of Goodman Gymnasium.

Lincoln Memorial (10-4, 5-2 SAC) saw its season-long five-game winning streak snapped while falling to 2-4 on the road this season. Meanwhile, Catawba (13-2, 6-1 SAC) moved to 12-1 over its last 13 games while ending an 11-game losing streak to the Railsplitters that dated back to March 2013.

"Credit to Catawba, they were the better team tonight and got what they deserved," said LMU head coach Josh Schertz. "I thought we fought hard and competed on the glass, but you can't turn the ball over 20 times and allow as many paint touches as we did against a team that good."

The Railsplitters shot 45 percent from the field, went 23-for-28 at the free-throw line and fell just six points shy of their season scoring average. However, Lincoln Memorial turned the ball over 20 times or more for the first time since a 24-turnover night at Queens on January 13, 2018.

Those mistakes led directly to 30 points for the Indians, who shot 49 percent in the game with seven triples and a 29-for-38 effort at the free-throw line. The 96 points were the most the Railsplitters have allowed in regulation since giving up 107 to Newberry in December 2016.

Foul trouble played a big role in the outcome as well, as leading scorer Cornelius Taylor fouled out after only 26 minutes of work, while Kamaran Calhoun and Courvoisier McCauley were also whistled for five fouls in the game.

Anthony Brown powered the Railsplitters offensively, hitting a new season-high mark for the third straight game with 22 points, four assists and two steals. Brown went 12-for-13 at the charity stripe to bolster his point total. Cameron Henry added 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Taylor and Calhoun had 15 and 11, respectively, before fouling out. Rhondi Hackett had eight points in eight minutes off the bench.

Five players hit double figures for the Indians. LMU transfer Marcell Haskett led the way with 22 points on a 4-for-4 clip from three. Jameel Taylor had 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, Malik Constantine had 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench and Devin Cooper pitched in 12.

The Railsplitters led by as many as six, while the Indians led by as many as seven in a back-and-forth opening half of basketball.

Catawba looked to be in control as the first half headed down the home stretch with a 44-37 lead, but the Railsplitters closed out the final 1:40 on a 7-0 run to send the game into the break knotted at 44-44.

Lincoln Memorial was unable to carry that momentum over to the second half, though, as Catawba jumped all over the Railsplitters right out of the gate.

After a triple from Taylor cut the Indian lead to 50-49 with 17:38 left to play, Catawba scored 15 unanswered points as part of that 21-5 flurry to take a commanding 65-49 lead with just under 14 minutes to play.

The Railsplitters later cut the deficit down to 12 at 70-58 on a pair of free throws by Brown, but Catawba scored six straight points after that to push the lead back to 18.

Lincoln Memorial never trailed by less than 10 for the remainder of the game as Catawba closed out the victory.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus