SALISBURY, N.C. – The Lions lost to Catawba 90-70 in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action Saturday evening in Goodman Gym. Mars Hill fell to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the league. The Indians improved to 7-2 on the season, 2-2 in the SAC.
Vernon Jackson led the Lions with 15 points and four rebounds. He was 3-4 from behind the arc. Bennett Wilson followed with 14 points. Mars Hill only hit 41.2% (28-68) of their field goals in the contest.
KJ Arrington came off the bench to score a game high 26 points to pace Catawba. Jameel Taylor followed with 19 points and seven boards. The Indians connected on 50% (37-74) of their shots from the floor and out rebounded the Lions, 54-31.
The Lions started the game on a 10-2 run to enjoy their largest lead of the contest at the 17:47 mark after Wilson nailed a 3-pointer. Catawba went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes to take a two-point (16-14) advantage with 13:33 left in the first half. The Lions then scored nine unanswered points to lead 23-16 with 11:31 left in the opening period. Catawba answered going on a 30-10 run over the ensuing 10 minutes of play to lead by 13 points (46-33) with 55 seconds left in the first frame. A 3-pointer by Justin Hartfield with 24 seconds left in the first half sent the teams into the locker room at the intermission with Catawba leading by 10 (46-36).
The second half belonged to the Indians. They began the second half on a 12-4 run to lead by 18 points (58-40) after Malik Constantine hit a couple of free throws with 16:21 left in the contest. Catawba went on to lead by as many as 25 points with 5:48 left in regulation after Gilbert McGregor hit a shot in the lane. A 3-pointer by Indiana Rotondo trimmed the Lions' deficit to 19 points with 3:00 left in the game but that was as close as the Lions would get.
Mars Hill will play at SAC foe Newberry on Wednesday, December 14. Tip-off is set for an 8 p.m. start.