Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Pulls Out Win Over Virginia Union

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SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba rallied past Virginia Union and Lenoir-Rhyne won a tight battle with J.C. Smith at the Comfort Suites Classic at Goodman Gym on Friday night.  The Catawba Indians (4-1) claimed a 71-62 victory over VUU (2-3), while the Bears (3-1) topped J.C. Smith (3-3) by a 66-60 count.

Catawba fell behind by nine points early in the second half before a 16-5 run, capped by a three-pointer by Nisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) that gave the Lady Indians the lead for good at 44-42 with 10:49 remaining.  VUU had scored the final five points of the opening half to take a 30-26 lead to the break.

After the Long three-pointer, Catawba moved out to a 52-44 lead with just over eight minutes to go when Brooke Whitley (New London, NC/N. Stanly HS) sank a jumper from behind the arc.  A second Whitley long-range jumper pushed the margin to 62-50 with 4:28 left.

The Panters pulled within six in the final three minutes, but Long his four free throws in the final two minutes to keep Catawba out front.  After shooting just 33% in the opening half, including a 1-12 effort from behind the arc, the Lady Indians hit on just under 52% in the final half and canned 4-of-7 from long range. 

Freshman Maggie Sullivan (Fort Mill, SC/Charlotte Christian HS) posted a double-double for Catawba with 14 points and 10 rebounds while adding four steals.  Long tossed in 13 with Whitley added a dozen.  Brittany Higgins (Takoma Park, MD/Blair HS) had 10 points and six assists.  Tonaey Smith (Detroit, MI) scored a game-high 24 points and had 11 rebounds in a losing effort for VUU.  Dashia Chandler (Chester, VA) tossed in 12 points, while Yuvonna Stevens (Paterson, NJ) pulled down 13 rebounds.

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