Basketball (M)

Poor first half dooms Women's Basketball at Aiken

AIKEN, SC -- The Catawba women’s basketball team tried to overcome a 16-point first-half deficit, but would fall to host USC-Aiken 69-63 in women’s basketball action on Wednesday night at the Courthouse. The Lady Indians suffer their first loss, falling to 5-1, while Aiken improves to 8-2. Catawba was dismal in the opening half, shooting just 22%, committing a dozen turnovers and getting out-rebounded 24-19. The Lady Indians fell behind early at 14-4 in the opening eight minutes. Catawba went down 22-8, but mounted a slight rally to pull within 23-15 following a three-pointer by Isiaette Darden (Wilson, NC) with six minutes left in the opening frame. The Lady Pacers would use a 9-1 run to regain control at 32-16 with 2:37 left in the half and went up 36-18 on a jumper by Nola Grant inside the final minute. Aiken hit on nearly 52% of its first-half attempts and had a dozen second- chance points to just for Catawba, but did have 11 turnovers. The Lady Indians came out of the gates early in the second half. A pair of three-pointers by Ingrid Easter (Cana, VA) helped trim the deficit to 38-28 after two minutes. The sophomore had all 10 of her points in the opening seven minutes of the final half. A jumper by Hannah Davis (Williamsburg, VA) got the Lady Indians within 48-42 at the 11:55 mark. Aiken went back up by 10, but a three-pointer by Ashley Cox (Richmond, VA) with 8:46 left brought Catawba within 52-49. The Lady Indians would get within three points on two more occasions, the last at 63-60 with 1:54 remaining. Catawba improved to 47% shooting in the second half, but the Lady Pacers stayed hot canning 63% from the field in the final 20 minutes. Aiken continued to dominate the boards, finishing with a 45-31 advantage and finished with a 20-6 edge in second-chance points. Aiken helped Catawba by committing 25 turnovers (14 in the final half to just four for Catawba) and hitting just 11-of-28 (39%) from the line. Cox scored 14 points and dished out five assists to lead the Lady Indians. Easter was the only other Catawba player in double figures with her 10. Tamekia Foster (Chesapeake, VA) had nine points, five rebounds and four steals. Danielle Scearce (Salisbury, NC) came off the bench to score seven points and grab six rebounds. Four Aiken players reached double figures with Grant leading the way with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Benazura Serbecic added 15 points and nine boards, while Lana Mandic also recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. #####

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