Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Can't Overcome Early Deficit in Loss to #23 USC Aiken


SALISBURY, NC -- USC Aiken scored the opening 12 points and went on to take a 62-53 win over host Catawba at the Comfort Suites Classic on Friday night at Goodman Gym.  The 23rd-ranked Pacers improve to 3-1, while the Catawba Indians fall to 2-2. 

Hannah DeGraffinreed (Raleigh, NC) posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead USC Aiken.  Kayla Harris (Raleigh, NC) followed with 14 points and six rebounds, while Daniela Tarailo (Crown Point, IN) added 10 points and eight boards.  Catawba was led by Nisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day), who hit five three-pointers en route to her game-high 21 points.  Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day) added 12 points and six rebounds.

Brittany Hill (Mechanicsville, VA) had five points in the early surge by the Pacers, while Harris added four to give USCA its 12-0 lead after three and a half minutes.  Long gave Catawba its first points at the 16:15 mark of the half and added a second three-pointer to make the score 12-6.  Aiken quickly responded with six straight points from DeGraffinreed for an 18-6 edge.

The Pacers took a 33-20 lead to the break as Catawba shot 31% and committed a dozen turnovers in the first half.  Harris had 10 of her points at the half with DeGraffinreed adding nine.  Long had 14 of the 20 points for the Lady Indians.

USCA built its advantage to 17 points in the second half, coming at 41-24 with 15 minutes remaining.  Catawba would whittle the lead to single digits at 45-36 with just under eight minutes left before the Pacers spurted back out to a 15-point edge on three-pointers by Lindsay Sundberg (Mansfield, CT) and Mia Antoine (Stone Mountain, GA). 

Catawba made one final run and pulled with 53-47 with 2:14 remaining after a three-pointer by Long and two free throws by Quaneasia Coleman (Duluth, GA/Northview HS).  DeGraffinreed was able to end the 8-2 spurt by Catawba on a pair of free throws and Tarailo iced the game on a three-pointer with 1:37 left for a 58-47 USCA lead.

USC Aiken shot 43% (23-of-53) in the win and canned 6-of-14 from behind the arc.  Catawba managed to hit on just 35% (18-of-52) and was 5-of-20 from long range.  Long went 5-of-10 from three-point range for the Lady Indians.  Coleman added seven points, all at the line, and seven rebounds for Catawba.

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