Basketball (W)

Merritt's Late Three-Pointer Sends Women's Basketball to Win Over Livingstone

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SALISBURY, NC -- Junior Elizabeth Merritt (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining to help host Catawba top Livingstone 72-68 in women’s basketball action on Monday night at Goodman Gym.  The basket snapped a 66-66 tie as the Catawba Indians improve to 4-4.  The Lady Blue Bears fall to 3-6.

Catawba led 66-57 with three minutes to play, but Livingstone reeled off nine straight points to tie the contest.  Rashida Elbourne (Newport News, VA) pulled the Lady Blue Bears even as she hit four free throws with 54 seconds to play following a foul and then a technical on Catawba’s Jolysa Connor (Charlotte, NC/Waddell HS).  Merritt then stepped up and drained a three-pointer to give the Lady Indians their winning points.

Livingstone missed twice on three-pointers in an attempt to tie the game in the final 20 seconds.  Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day) made two free throws with nine seconds remaining to ice the game for Catawba. 

Nisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) led all scorers with 21 points to pace Catawba.  She added six assists.  Chloe Bully (Hannut, BELGIUM/KOL Landen) fired in 16 points, connecting on four three-pointers, while Connor reached double figures with 10.  Merritt and Hicks each posted double-doubles for the Lady Indians.  Merritt had 12 points and 10 boards with Hicks having 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Livingstone also had five double-digit scorers led by Elbourne’s 15.  Jasmine Murray (Washington, DC) had a double-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds with Kelcyn Manurs (Reston, VA) adding 11 points.  Montiya Harrison (Petersburg, VA) and Sophie Lepzem (Cheverly, MD) each totaled 10 points.

The game went back and forth.  Livingstone opened with an 8-2 lead only to see Catawba battle back to go on top 17-10.  Harrison and Elbourne led the Blue Bears back with a 14-4 run to retake the lead.  Livingstone led 27-32 at the break, shooting 52% in the half.  Lepzem had all 10 of her points at the break.

Catawba would surge at the start of the second half.  Connor had all 10 of her points in a four minute span to open the half and help the Lady Indians to a 44-40 edge.  The Blue Bears erased a seven-point deficit with an 11-0 run that was capped by a three-pointer by Cierra York (Winston-Salem, NC) and a layup by Manurs with just under 11 minutes remaining.

The lead went back-and-forth over the next five minutes before Catawba scored 10 straight points to lead 64-55 with 4:07 remaining.  Long had seven of the points and Bully a three-pointer.  York had to buckets to start Livingstone’s rally that saw the Blue Bears pull even on Elbourne’s free throws.

Catawba dominated the glass, winning the battle 53-41 which included 21 on the offensive boards.  The Lady Blue Bears shots just 29% in the second half and was just 1-of-11 from behind the arc.

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