|Wingate Holds Off SAC-Rival, Catawba, 79-76, In OT|
|Web Posted 3/15/08|
|(View PDF Release)|
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Third-seeded Wingate University (24-6) held on to defeat the No. 6-seed Catawba College (19-12), 79-76, in overtime of the quarterfinals of the 2008 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Men’s Basketball Regional Tournament Saturday afternoon at Christenberry Fieldhouse in Augusta, Ga.
Wingate, which was led by senior Sean Barnette’s 28 points and 12 rebounds, advances to the semfinals of the regional tournament to face the winner of the Johnson C. Smith and Augusta State contest Sunday at 5 p.m.
Bulldog senior Bryan Grier added 19 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots as Wingate overcame a seven-point, second-half deficit (36-29 with 15:23 remaining) to take the win.
Dominick Reid led Catawba with 22 points while Antonio Houston added 18 points but the Bulldogs held the Catawba Indians to just 36 percent shooting (25-of-70) from the field.
Barnette hit the game-tying lay-up with 35 seconds left to force overtime tied at 65-65 and led by as many as six points (78-72 with 1:57 left) in the extra stanza.
Catawba, however, never gave up and lost when Isaac Rose’s three-point attempt rimmed off as time expired. Rose finished with 14 points in the losing effort.
Catawba trailed by two with 24 seconds left when Wingate’s DeMario Maddox stole the ball and iced the game for the Bulldogs. Wingate led by as many as six in the extra frame following a three-pointer by Holmes with 1:57 to play. Houston answered with a layup for the Indians whch was followed by a Reid free throw to cut the lead back to three.
No. 3 Wingate d. No. 6 Catawba 79-76 (OT) (BOX SCORE)
Wingate Head Coach Parker Laketa
“I’m not surprised that the game was so close. Jim Baker’s a terrific coach, he’s got a young team and I knew he would have the prepared. I thought it would be more of an offensive game and it ended up being more of a defensive struggle. But our experience was the difference in the game.
“We’ve been playing our best basketball, here these last few years, at the end of the season. We did have a good run here last year and I’m just glad that its continuing. We’re fortunate enough to get a three seed in this tournament, and its just survive and advance.”
Wingate’s Sean Barnette
(On having played in the regional before): “That played a big part because we knew what to expect. We knew it would be a tight game. We’ve been here before and we know what it takes to win. Having that experience from last year helped everybody out because we only have two new players, so that played a big part.”
(On missing a shot late in regulation): “My intention was to get it all the way to the basket. I pulled up and I was forced to take a bad shot. I felt like I really needed to redeem myself because I let my team down at the end of regulation. So I wanted to step it up big time in the overtime and just do whatever it took to get the win.”
Wingate’s Bryan Grier
(On returning after missing three games): “I feel great. Watching the past three games, being hurt, I just tried to stay positive and have faith in my teammates. I think it was a blessing for us because it gave other guys opportunities to play and gave them more experience and more confidence to come in and play. When coach has to go to the bench, he doesn’t have to worry about how long he’s got to sit him out, those guys are ready to step up and play.”
(On advancing in the tournament:): “Its hard, its all hard. Its like coming into the season for the first game. If you’re fortunate enough to get in the NCAA tournament, whoever’s in; those are the top teams in the country. If you win your conference tournament, you’re playing hot at that moment, you can beat anybody. We’re fortunate to get out alive. That’s just how it is. You gotta love it, especially if you’re on the winning side.”
Catawba Head Coach Jim Baker
“I felt like we were right there and had a couple of chances to win it. Two plays in that whole game, as close as it was, made the big difference. I thought my kids played well, they executed. We had a couple of things just slip through our hands late. The ball just bounced around and fell out of our hands. It was a good game, unfortunately we came out three points short.”
“I thought our game plan was good, we grinded, made plays. We were right there. A bounce there, a rebound here, a free throw and a call...and that’s how close it is.”
“We’ve got a very good nucleus returning. I just wish we could have pulled the thing out.”