Basketball (W)

Late Rally Pushes Women's Basketball Past The Cumberlands

08_WBB_LongNisha

SALISBURY, NC -- Host Catawba rallied for a 66-61 win over the University of the Cumberlands in women’s basketball action on Sunday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians did not take their first lead until 3:04 to play then held the edge for the rest of the game to knock off the NAIA 13th-ranked Patriots.  Catawba improves to 7-5, while the Patriots fall to 11-4.

Nisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Catawba, sinking four key free throws in the final 1:37.  Milica Ivanovic (Belgrade, SERBIA/Sports High/Bethel) added 18 points and seven rebounds, while Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day) scored 13 points and pulled down nine boards.

Lauren Wombles (London, KY) scored 19 points to pace the Cumberlands.  Lauren Martin (Detroit, MI) followed with 16 points.  Both grabbed seven rebounds. 

The Patriots scored the first five points and held a 17-7 lead after eight and a half minutes following a three-pointer by Stephanie Quattrociocchi (Windsor, Ontario, CANADA).  Another three-pointer by Quattrociocchi gave Cumberlands its largest lead of the half at 26-15 with 7:55 remaining.  Catawba used a 17-7 run to close within one at 33-32 in the final minutes of the half, but the Patriots led 38-34 at the break. 

Wombles put the Patriots up by a dozen at 50-38 with 13:38 remaining, but could not put Catawba away.  Down nine with nine minutes left, Catawba scored seven straight points to close the gap to 56-54 with 5:51 to go.  Hicks capped the run with a layup which would be the last field goal by Catawba on the day.  Martin put UC up 58-54 then Ivanovic scored the next four points at the line to pull the Lady Indians even with 3:22 left.

Following a miss by the Patriots, Elizabeth Merritt (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) gave Catawba its first lead on two free throws with 3:04 remaining.  Long added two free throws with 1:37 left for a 62-58 lead then Wombles hit a three-pointer to trim the deficit to a single point with 1:21 to go.

Hicks hit a pair at the line with a minute left and Catawba survived two three-point attempts in the final 20 seconds to hold the lead.  Long iced the game with two more free throws with three seconds remaining.  Catawba went 20-of-23 at the line and hit on its last 13 tries.

Neither team shot 40% for the game and both were under 35% in the second half.  UC connected on seven three-pointers, but was just 4-of-8 at the line.  Catawba held a 44-40 edge on the boards and had two less turnovers.

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