Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Falls to Lenoir-Rhyne in Battle for First Place

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HICKORY, NC -- Lenoir-Rhyne scored the first eight points and went on to take a 62-48 victory over visiting Catawba in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action on Wednesday night at Shuford Gym.  The Bears improve to 10-3 overall and remain the lone unbeaten in league play at 5-0.   The Catawba Indians fall to 7-6 and 3-2.
 
 The Bears took advantage of a cold shooting night by Catawba (5-of-28 in the first half) and never trailed., leading 26-12 at the break.  Danielle Bongiorno sank a three-pointer seven minutes into the second half to push the Lenoir-Rhyne advantage to 42-19.

 Catawba tried to fight back.  Trailing 44-27 with just over nine minutes to play, the Lady Indians went on a 13-2 run to cut the margin to 46-40 with 6:24 remaining after a three-point play by Quaneasia Coleman (Duluth, GA/Northview HS).  Lenoir-Rhyne weathered the storm, connecting on 8-of-10 at the line in the final 1:36 to secure the win.

   Bongiorno led the Bears with 15 points, while Nneka Awuruonye posted a bouble-double with 11 points and a dozen rebounds.  Jazmine Charles tossed in 13 points.  Chloe Bully (Hannut, BELGIUM/KOL Landen) scored 14 points to pace Catawba.  Elizabeth Merritt (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) followed with 11 points.

 Catawba hit on just 30% (17-of-56) from the field and went 5-of-20 (25%) from behind the arc.  The Bears hit on 43% of its shots and held a 45-31 edge on the boards.
 
Catawba is back on the road Saturday, traveling to Newberry for a 2 p.m. tip at Eleazer Arena.

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