Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Upsets #22 Wingate


SALISBURY, NC -- Host Catawba opened conference play with a 68-60 upset of NCAA II 22nd-ranked Wingate in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the SAC, while the Bulldogs fall to 4-2 and 0-1.

Catawba led just briefly in the opening half, but shot nearly 60% in the second half to rally from a 30-27 deficit at the break.  Chloe Bully (Hannut, BELGIUM/KOL Landen) propelled the Lady Indians, scoring a dozen of her game-high 21 points in the second half.  Elizabeth Merritt (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) added 19 points, while Antoinette McPhail (Timmonsville, SC/Darlington HS/Paine) posted a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Wingate go 18 points from Janitsha Williams (Statesville, NC) and 17 from Sarah Wollett (Raleigh, NC) in the loss.  Chantal Dunbar (Norfolk, VA) grabbed a dozen rebounds.  Wingate controlled the boards with a 45-32 edge, including an 18-6 margin on the offensive glass. 

Down 35-29, Catawba reeled off seven straight points to take the lead for good at 36-35 on a layup by Bully with 16:42 remaining.  Merritt hit a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions for Catawba to increase the edge to 44-37 with 13:42 left.

Catawba led by as many as nine midway through the second half, but Wingate rallied pulling within 63-30 on a three-pointer by Kelli Bonner (Yadkinville, NC) with 24 seconds remaining.  Merritt sank a pair of free throws to push the lead back to five and connected on two more after a Wingate miss for a 67-60 edge.  McPhail missed on the second of two free throws with four seconds remaining to end a streak of 34 consecutive free throws by the Lady Indians, dating back three games.

Wingate grabbed an early 10-4 lead before Catawba battled back to take its only lead of the first half at 18-17 with 8:32 remaining.  The Bulldogs responded with seven points to go up 24-18 on a layup by Morgan McGee (Durham, NC).  Emma Ucinski (Atlanta, GA/St. Pius X HS) banked home a three-pointer in the final seconds of the half to pull Catawba within 30-27 at the break.

Catawba will travel to Anderson for a conference doubleheader on Saturday.  Tip time is set for 2 p.m.


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