Tuesday was a day of highs and lows for the Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball program.
After finding out earlier in the day that they were ranked in the DII national poll for the first time in program history, the Red Hawks suffered their first conference setback of the season, falling 96-81 on the road to rival Wake Tech.
No. 16 CVCC, which was playing its final game of the 2018 calendar year, falls to 10-2 overall and 2-1 in Region X play. The loss also snaps Catawba Valley’s seven-game win streak.
The Red Hawks and Eagles (8-5, 7-0 in Region X) battled for the lead during almost the entire first half of Tuesday’s contest, but Wake Tech was able to gain separation with just over six minutes left until halftime, going on a 9-0 run to take a 51-41 lead at the break.
Volante Carroll helped lead the scoring run for the Eagles with a dunk and a lay up after an offensive rebound.
The Eagles were able to maintain their double-digit advantage for most of the second half, but Catawba Valley cut its deficit to as little as seven points before ultimately falling by 15 points at the final buzzer.
Point guard Dezure Moulden paced CVCC in the contest with 14 points, Red Hawk freshman Cole Johnson recorded a career-high 12 points and fellow freshman Zach De La Cruz added 11 points.
Wake Tech was led by Tireek Wilder, who scored 26 points. He was one of four Eagle players who reached double figures in scoring, including Koraan Clemonts (19 points), Christian Anumine (17 points) and Michael Armstrong (15 points).
The CVCC men’s basketball team returns to the court on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 at home in another conference game — this time against Bryant & Stratton (Va.). Game time is set for 6 p.m.