Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball's Upset Bid Falls Just Short at Wingate


WINGATE, NC -- The seventh-seeded Catawba Indians battled host Wingate to the final buzzer before falling 58-56 to the second-seeded Bulldogs in the opening round of the 2008 South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball tournament on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  Wingate improves to 21-7 and will advance to the tournament semifinals on Saturday night.  The Lady Indians end their season at 12-16.

Brittany Higgins (Tacoma Park, MD/Blair HS) tied the game for Catawba at 56-all with 1:42 remaining, but Erica Crumlin scored what proved to be the winning basket with 1:25 to play.  After two Catawba turnovers, Brittany West missed the front end of a one-and-one with nine seconds left to give the Lady Indians one last chance, but Keisha Long’s (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

Wingate led by eight early in the second half then Catawba rallied with six straight points to pull within 43-42 with 11:33 remaining on a basket by Cristi Bartlett (Camden, NC/Camden HS).  Bartlett would tie the game at 56-all on a hoop with 3:45 left.

The teams traded the lead four times in the opening half, but the Bulldogs took control over the final 10 minutes and built a 29-19 lead with 5:09 left in the first half.  Wingate held a 35-29 lead at the break.  Catawba held a 49-40 edge on the boards, but had 18 turnovers to 13 for the Bulldogs.  Neither team shot well as Wingate hit on just 31% and Catawba 34%. 

Higgins led Catawba with 15 points, while NeKeithia Howard (Macon, GA/Northeast HS) posted her seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 15 rebounds.  Stefani Shuey led the Bulldogs with 14 points and Crumlin had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

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