Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Upset Bid Falls Short Against #9 Tusculum

Lady Indians scored just nine points over final 11 minutes

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SALISBURY, NC -- Shantae Shank (Charlotte, NC) led a quartet of players in double figures with 15 points to lead ninth-ranked Tusculum to a 74-56 win over host Catawba in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Pioneers (13-1, 4-0 SAC) record their 10th straight victory, improving to 13-1 overall and 4-0 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians fall to 9-5 and 1-2 and see a five-game winning streak halted.

 Shank’s 15 markers are a season-high, while Ashli Oliver (Kokomo, IN) added a dozen points, including a trio of 3-pointers.  Stephany Neptune (Wallkill, NY) posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds to go along with two blocked shots.   Kat Spears (Memphis, TN) contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and five rejections off the bench as TC remains atop the league standings.

 Catawba was led by Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day) and Cameron Clark (Albemarle, NC/N. Stanly HS), who each tossed in 18 points.  Hicks recorded a doubled as she hauled in a game-high 15 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive glass.  Brittany Higgins (Takoma Park, MD/Blair HS) had seven points and four assists, but did not score after the break.

 Poor shooting cost the Lady Indians as Catawba connected on just 33% and a mere 30% in the final half.  A steal and layup by Clark cut the Pioneer lead to 51-47 with 11:40 left, but Catawba went nearly six minutes without scoring and made just two field goals the rest of the game.  Tusculum ran off 12 straight points to grab a 63-47 edge with 6:31 remaining and built the lead to 21 with three minutes to go.

 Catawba held an early 16-8 lead then the Pioneers used a 17-0 run over a 4:38 span to take a 25-16 advantage at the midway point of the first half.  During the run, the Pioneers shot 6-for-7 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.  Tusculum would eventually take a 38-28 lead into the intermission, including a running-jumper by Jasmine Parker at the buzzer.

 Tusculum forced 24 turnovers, converting those miscues into 36 points.  Catawba managed just 15 points off 20 Pioneer turnovers.  Tusculum also enjoyed the hotter shooting hand, connecting on 47.5 percent from the floor.

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