Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball falls in SAC Tournament at Tusculum


   GREENEVILLE, TN -- Freshman Stephany Neptune (Wallkill, NY) posted 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead third-seed and host Tusculum to a 65-59 victory over sixth-seeded Catawba in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at Pioneer Arena.  With the win, Tusculum improves to 17-9 and advances to a Saturday semifinal against #2-seed Carson-Newman.  The Lady Indians end their season at 9-19.
Amber Redding (Sevierville, TN) chipped in nine points, six rebounds, and six assists for TC, and Ashli Oliver (Kokomo, IN) tallied six points and a career-high nine rebounds.  Brittany Higgins (Takoma Park, MD) led Catawba with 15 points.  Gia Colombo (Concord, NH) tallied 14 points, and Hannah Davis (Williamsburg, VA) posted nine points and 12 rebounds.

Catawba sprinted to a 7-0 lead just 1:30 into the contest, but Tusculum responded with a 10-2 run to take its first lead of the game at 10-9 with 15:39 showing on the clock.  The Lady Indians took control again and built a 25-17 lead on a Higgins jumper at the 8:34 mark.  The Pioneers would put together another run, posting six unanswered points, to pull within 25-23 with 5:22 remaining in the half.

Davis sank a lay-up with less than two minutes remaining in the period to put the Lady Indians up 34-29, but a pair of free throws and a lay-up by Neptune trimmed the TC deficit to 34-33 at intermission.

The squads swapped leads for much of the first half of the second period, and with just over 10:00 left in the contest, the score was knotted at 49-49.  Lauren Wrightson (Germantown, MD) hit a lay-up with 7:58 showing on the clock to put the Pioneers in front 55-51, and the cushion held down the stretch.
    
The Lady Indians sliced the Pioneer lead to one on two occasions in the final seven minutes of the contest.  Colombo drained a three-pointer with 3:54 remaining, making the score 58-57, but the Pioneers took over from there.  TC made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 34 seconds to seal the 65-59 victory.

Free throw shooting was key for the Pioneers, as they converted 84 percent (16-of-19) of their attempts compared to just 36 percent (5-for-14) for the Lady Indians.  Tusculum also got 21 points from its bench, while Catawba’s reserves posted 10 points.

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