Basketball (W)

Darden scores 21 second-half points as Women's Basketball rallies past Mars Hill

   SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final 12 minutes and claimed an 84-83 win over visiting Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  The Lady Indians pick up their third straight win and move to 14-10 overall and 5-6 in the SAC.  The Lady Lions fall to 11-12 and 4-7.         
The Lady Indians comeback began with a three-point play by Isiaette Darden (Wilson, N.C.) at the 11:43 mark.  Darden would score all of her game-high 21 points in the final half.  Mars Hill would stay in front until a three-pointer by Ingrid Easter (Cana, Va.) with 6:58 to go tied the game at 64-64.  Catawba took the lead on a layup by Christina Carmon (Stafford, Va.) with 6:12 remaining at 66-64.  It marked the Lady Indians first lead since a 17-16 advantage at the 10:13 mark of the opening half.

Catawba would not trail after retaking the lead, making seven of eight free throws in the final minute.  The Lady Indians pulled out to a 73-66 advantage, but three-pointers by Abby Debusk (New Tazewell, Tenn.), Laura Snider (Old Fort, N.C.) and Kristi Ferris (Knoxville, Tenn.) brought the Lady Lions within 81-79 with 26 seconds remaining.  

The Lady Indians, who were 27-of-32 (84%) at the line on the night, missed on a final attempt with eight seconds remaining, but Mars Hill’s final shot at the buzzer was a two-pointer by Jessica Blanford (Concord, N.C.), bringing the Lady Lions within 84-83.

Mars Hill shot 56% (29-of-52) for the game and were 10-of-14 (71%) from three-point range.  The Lady Lions also made 15-of-17 (88%) at the line and held a 33-28 edge on the boards, but suffered 29 turnovers.  Catawba held a 35-21 edge in points off miscues.  Ferris led four double-figure scorers for Mars Hill with 19.  Snider added 16, DeBusk 15 and Lindsey Jones (Crossville, Tenn.) 13.

Catawba would make only 42% (26-of-61), but came up big at the line, especially in the second half with a 22-of-26 (85%) effort.  Ashley Cox (Richmond, Va.) followed Darden with 18 points for Catawba, while Tamekia Foster (Chesapeake, Va.) added 15 and Hannah Davis (Williamsburg, Va.) 14.  Darden also added five steals and was a perfect 10-of-10 at the line.

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