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CATAWBA ELIMINATES ELON 81-77

CATAWBA ELIMINATES ELON 81-77

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Andre Godfrey and Pat Wolter combined for 42 points as Catawba's Indians scored a mild 81-77 upset over Elon's fourth-seeded Christians in the opening round of the first South Atlantic Conference Basketball Tournament on Thursday.

Godfrey, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, fired in 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the floor and 3-for-3 from the line. Wolter, a 6-foot-7 senior, followed with 17, including seven in a late surge that gave the Indians a six-point 73-67 lead with 2:30 to play. Wolter was 7 for 11 from the field and added three free throws.Jeff Vaughn, a freshman forward, sank six straight free throws in the final 51 seconds to keep the Indians out front.

Catawba moves into tonight's semifinals against top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne, which defeated Mars Hill 59-53.

In the tourney's first game, third-seeded Gardner-Webb edged Presbyterian 73-70 in overtime. Jules Springs led Gardner-Webb, now 14-13, with 18 points. Scott had 18 for Presbyterian which ended its season at 12-16.

In the night's other game, Wingate topped Carson-Newman 81-74.

It was the fourth straight win for Coach Sam Moir's Indians who entered the tournament as the fifth seed. It was their 10th win against 17 losses. The defeat ended Elon's season at 16-11.

Elon played without scoring leader Elworth Smith (14.9) who was suspended for the game for violating a team rule.

Pat Ceasar, a 6-4 junior, paced the Elon scoring with 25 on 11-for-17 from the field and 3-for-6 from the foul line. Pat Recio, a 6-7 junior, followed with 18. Guard Wes Jones added 15 and Steve Walker had 10 for the Christians.

``We played just well enough to win,' said Moir, who was presented his 508th career victory in 31 seasons at Catawba.

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