Braves upend #11 Catawba in Carrollton

Carrollton, Ga. – December 10, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves came into Saturday’s game with #11 Catawba not having played a complete game yet all year. Put that notion aside as the Braves shot 56 percent against the Indians en route to a 97-78 win at the HPE Building.

“They are a very good, technically sound basketball team,” said UWG head coach Ed Murphy. “We came in tonight and needed to play a perfect game and we did that.”

It wasn’t perfect, but near that as Catawba came out firing, opening up a 5-0 lead in the first 1 1/2 minutes of the contest. Michael Ford broke that run by introducing himself to Carrollton with a three pointer at the 18:45 mark and the race was on. With 16:19 left in the first half, Ford’s three-point play put the Braves ahead 12-5 and things were beginning to look good for West Georgia.

The Braves increased their lead to 13 twice in the half, but Catawba wasn’t about to give up their winning streak that easily.

Chris Burras’s shot from the baseline was off its mark with three seconds left, but Michael McCowan rectified that situation with a tip-in at the buzzer to give West Georgia a 38-32 halftime lead.

The first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half were an offensive explosion, as the Braves built a 57-40 lead in that span, spurred on by 10 points from junior wingman Andrius Petkunas

The UWG lead stayed in double-figures from that point on except for one 46-second span where the Braves led by nine. A pair of dunks from Burras and Antonio Shaw in the final minute put an exclamation point on the huge win.

Shaw led the five Braves in double-figures on the evening with 22 points and six rebounds. Ford and Petkunas followed up with 21 and 20 points, respectively and Burras collected his eighth career double-double at West Georgia with 18 points and 12 rebounds. It was his fourth in nine games this year. McCowan also broke into double figures with 12 points on the afternoon.

West Georgia moves to 7-2 on the year with Henderson State coming to town next Saturday night. The Braves lost 50-49 earlier this season to the Reddies in Arkadelphia.

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