Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Loses in Overtime to Lenoir-Rhyne


SALISBURY, NC – Lenoir-Rhyne’s Whitney Brinkley (Asheville, NC) scored with four seconds left in overtime to give the visiting Bears a 65-63 win over Catawba in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  The Bears move into second place in the SAC as they improve to 13-10 overall and 10-5 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians fall to 14-11 and 8-7.

 Lenoir-Rhyne scored the first seven points of the extra-time, going up 62-55 after a three-pointer by Cameron Sealy (Mount Holley, NC).  Catawba stormed right back getting consecutive three-pointers from Milica Ivanovic (Belgrade, SERBIA/Sports High/Bethel) and Lauren Lewis (Concord, NC/N. Mecklenburg HS) then a jumper by Elizabeth Merritt (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) to cap an eight-point run for a 62-61 lead with a minute to play. 

Caroline Laughter (Hickory, NC) converted the first of two free throws to pull the Bears even with 49 ticks left then Lenoir-Rhyne drew a charge with 16 seconds remaining to set up the final sequence.  Laughter drove the baseline and found Brinkley alone for the layup.  Kisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) missed a desperation 15-footer at the buzzer for the Lady Indians.

Whitley Culler (Mount Airy, NC) led a trio of double-figure scorers for Lenoir-Rhyne with 16 points.  Sealey and Laughter each had 15.  Ivanovic led all scorers with 19 for Catawba.  Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day) recorded a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Long added 11 points.

The see-saw contest saw both teams overcome shooting struggles.  Lenoir-Rhyne started the game by hitting just four of its first 26 attempts, while Catawba managed to can just one of its first 16 shots of the second half.   Catawba led by as many as 15 in the first half, at 27-12, but the Bears trimmed the margin to single digits late in the half before Long beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to give the Lady Indians a 31-20 edge at the break. 

The Bears canned a pair of three-pointers to start the second half and used a 21-4 run to go up 41-35 with 11:58 left.  Catawba then scored ten straight for a 45-41 lead at the 10:10 mark.  Lenoir-Rhyne lead 52-48 with just over three minutes to go, but two free throws by Hicks and a three-point play by Ivanovic put Catawba back up 53-52 with 44 seconds left. 

Brinkley answered with a three-point play for the Bears to give Lenoir-Rhyne a 55-53 lead.  Merritt canned a jumper with six seconds left and the Bears misfired at the buzzer to send the game to the extra session.

The Bears rebounded to shoot 47% after the break and finished at 35% for the contest.  Catawba shot just 33% for the game and 29% after the break.  The Lady Indians also had 24 turnovers to only 15 for Lenoir-Rhyne.

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