GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Catawba College men's basketball team made all 28 of its free throw attempts en route to a 72-55 South Atlantic Conference victory over host Tusculum University Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Arena.
The Catawba Indians (14-5, 7-4 SAC) snap their three-game losing streak while completing the season-sweep over the Pioneers (9-10, 5-6 SAC) who has their four-game home winning streak halted.
Catawba went 28-of-28 from the free throw line to establish a new school and South Atlantic Conference single-game record, breaking the previous league mark posted by Lenoir-Rhyne who went 17-of-17 at the charity stripe against Carson-Newman during the 1995-96 season. Saturday's performance also bested the previous Catawba program mark of 15-of-15 against Belmont Abbey in 2008.
Catawba's Devin Cooper led the charge with his 17 points including his 13-of-13 performance at the free throw line. Jordan McElveen added 13 markers with six rebounds and went 5-of-5 at the stripe. Malik Constantine posted 11 points and was perfect 6-of-6 at the line.
Tusculum freshman Trenton Gibson led all scorers with his 18 points to go along with eight rebounds as he went 8-of-11 from the free throw line. Donovan Donaldson added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Caleb Hodnett added eight boards off the bench.
The Pioneers were held to a season-low 55 points while shooting 25.4 percent from the floor and went just 2-of-21 from three-point territory (9.5%). TU shot a respectable 23-of-32 at the foul line (71.9%) as both teams were whistled for 45 combined fouls.
After trailing 3-0 early, the Pioneers would take its first and only lead at 8-7 following a Tariq Jenkins layup at the 14:35 mark of the period. The Indians went on a 6-0 run capped off by a Daquan Lilly jumper in the paint for a 13-8 Catawba advantage with 11:39 left in the half.
Leading 20-15 with seven minutes left in the half, Catawba closed out the period on a 14-4 run including a three-pointer by Marcell Haskett as the Indians took a 34-19 lead into the locker room.
Tusculum shot 8-of-36 in the first half, including 0-for-14 from three-point land. Catawba shot 45.5 percent from the field and went 12-of-12 at the free throw line.
The Pioneers were able to trim the deficit to 10 points on two occasions including 38-28 following a three-pointer by Donaldson to snap TU's trifecta drought. But that would be as close as the Pioneers would get as the Tribe led by as many as 21 before settling for the 17-point victory.
Tusculum out-rebounded Catawba 41-37 including 22-9 on the offensive glass. But the Pioneers would only score 16 second chance points from the dominance on the offensive boards.
TU returns to action on Wednesday when the Pioneers host Anderson University for an 8 p.m. SAC contest.