Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball falls in overtime despite a career-high 28 from Darden

   HICKORY, N.C. – Lenoir-Rhyne’s Lanica Williams hit a three-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining to lift the host Bears to a 69-68 overtime win over visiting Catawba in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday night at Shuford Gym.  The Bears improve to 7-6 overall, snapping a six-game losing streak, while Catawba falls to 9-5.  It was the league opener for both teams.
    The Bears led only twice, once as the horn sounded to end the game and the other at 36-35 with 14:47 remaining in regulation.  Catawba had jumped to the early lead as Isiaette Darden (Wilson, N.C.) hit on two three-pointers and a jumper to stake the Lady Indians to a 10-4 lead.  Darden poured in a career-high 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-7 from behind the arc in a losing effort.

    The Lady Indians led 15-4 after five minutes were up 25-12 after a Darden jumper with 7:17 to go in the opening half.  Lenoir-Rhyne would begin to fight back from there and trailed 30-24 at the break.

    Crystal Clary, who scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Lenoir-Rhyne, scored six of the Bears first 12 points of the second half to help L-R take a 36-35 lead.  Selia Monroe (Springfield, Va.) would push Catawba back in front at 38-36 with a three-point play.  

    The play by Monroe sparked Catawba and Darden hit consecutive three-pointers to give the Lady Indians a 52-45 lead with nine minutes left.  Clary brought the Bears even with 2:39 left on a jumper, but Darden answered with a three-pointer for a 59-56 Catawba lead at the 2:11 mark.

    Kristin Barringer hit two free throws for L-R with 58 seconds remaining in regulation to cut the Bear deficit to 59-58 and Clary added a free throw with 28 second left to tie the score at 59-59.  Catawba turned the ball over with 4.8 seconds to play and L-R failed to get off a shot.

Two free throws by Ashley Cox (Richmond, Va.) and a three-point play by Darden helped Catawba to a 64-61 lead with 3:41 left in overtime and a layin by Tamekia Foster (Chesapeake, Va.) kept the lead at 66-63, but Williams hit a three-pointer to draw the Bears even at 66-66 with 2:52 left.

A jumper by Cox put the Lady Indians back on top at 68-66 with 2:08 left and both failed to score on several possessions.  The Bears missed a pair of free throws and had a turnover, while Catawba failed on two shots in the paint.  After the final Catawba miss with 18 second left, L-R called timeout with 10 seconds remaining and Williams hit the winning three-pointer.

Cox was the only other Catawba player in double figures with 11, while Williams added 19 for the Bears.  Lenoir-Rhyne held a 44-32 edge on the boards.  Catawba shot 43% for the game, while the Bears hit on 40%, but were 50% (16-of-32) after the break.

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