Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Falls Short On Upset Bid Of League Leaders

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HICKORY, NC -- Brittany Mitch scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and made a key steal and three-point play as 22nd-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne survived an upset bid, recording a 79-68 win over visiting Catawba in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday night at Shuford Gym.  The Bears remain atop the league standings, improving to 22-3 overall and 12-2 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians have a three-game winning streak snapped, falling to 15-10 and 7-7.

Mitch keyed a late 21-8 run over the final 2:35.  After the Bears tied the game at 60-all, Mitch converted a three-point play after a steal on the inbounds pass to put the Bears up 63-60.  A three-pointer by Amber Holt and two free throws by Mitch extended the lead to 68-60 with 1:54 left.  The Bears made all 10 free throws in the final 1:03 to extend their lead.

Catawba trailed 18-4 after seven and half minutes, but clawed back into the game and took its first lead at 37-36 on a pair of free throws by Kisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) at the 16:54 mark of the second half.  The Lady Indians went up by as many as four before the Bears fought back to go on top 51-45 with 9:39 left.

The Lady Indians would again rally, taking a 58-56 lead on a three-pointer by Brooke Whitley with 3:34 to play.  Long gave Catawba its last lead at 60-58 before Whitney Culler tied the game on a second-chance basket before the key play by Mitch.

Mitch, who added eight rebounds, led four double-figure scorers for the Bears.  Holt added 19, Denise Moore 14 and Jamie Safrit 11.  Lenoir-Rhyne shot 50% for the game and held a 38-31 edge on the boards.

Catawba was led by Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day), who scored 16 points, while Long added 15.  Catawba shot just over 40% for the game and was 2-of-11 from behind the arc.

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