Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball opens SAC play with win at L-R

HICKORY, NC -- The Catawba College women's basketball team earned a key win to open South Atlantic Conference play as the Lady Indians defeated host Lenoir-Rhyne, one of the pre-season league favorites, 90-85 at Shuford Gym on Saturday night. Catawba overcame a five- point deficit in the final seven minutes to improve to 9-3 overall. The Bears fell to 6-5. Catawba roared out to a 13-3 lead in the opening three minutes. Lynn Morancie (Houston, TX) connected for a three-pointer and a jumper for a 7-0 lead, then layups by Dorthell Little (Rockingham, NC), Danyel Locklear (Pembroke, NC) and Isiaette Darden (Wilson, NC) pushed the lead to 13-3. The Bears would close the gap and got within 19-18 on a layup by Kim Small (Greensboro, NC) with 11:38 in the half, but L-R could not take the lead. The Lady Indians led 37-33 with just under three minutes in the half when the ladies went on a 13-4 run to lead 50-37 at the break. Christina Carmon (Stafford, VA) hit a pair of free throws and Morancie converted a three-point play for a 42-33 edge. Darden had two steals and break-away layups in the final 1:15 to push the edge to 50-36. Lenoir-Rhyne still trailed by ten points at 63-53 with 13:11 left, when Maya Grady (Greer, SC) hit the first of her four second half three-pointers to ignite a 9-0 run. Grady had another three and Sandi Hyatt's (Albemarle, NC) with 11:11 left, pulled L-R within 63-62. A layin by Carmon stopped the run, but Grady added back-to-back triples to give the Bears their first lead at 68-67 with 9:03 remaining. Grady and Hyatt added layups to push the lead to 72-67 with 6:48 left before the Lady Indians rallied. Locklear and Carmen hit baskets and Kendall Prescott (Exeter, NH) followed with consecutive baskets to complete an 8-0 run to put Catawba on top 75-72 with 4:59 left. Lenoir-Rhyne cut the deficit to one on a laying by Small, but that was as close as the Bears would get. Little came up with a big offensive rebound on a missed free throw and fed Prescott for a layup and a 79-74 advantage with 3:48 to play, then Prescott would push the edge to 85-77 on a layin with 1:50 remaining. After a bucket by Shea Blacknell (Chapel Hill, NC) cut the lead to 85-79, Grady stole a pass and hit a pair of free throws to trim the margin to 85-81 with 1:24 left. Blacknell would record a steal and hit a jumper with 1:10 left to pull the Bears to within 85-83. Ashley Cox (Richmond, VA) would convert one of two free throws with 50 seconds left, then Carmon got a steal with 39 seconds remaining. Locklear hit one of two free throws, but Little grabbed the miss and Morancie salted the game away by converting two free throws with 20 seconds left for an 89-83 lead. Morancie hit all nine of her free throw attempts in the game and finished with 18 points (14 in the opening half) and five assists. Locklear led Catawba with 20 points, while Little had 14 points and 12 boards. Carmon added 13 points and four steals off the bench. Grady led Lenoir-Rhyne with 24 points, scoring 21 in the final half. Small had 22 points, pacing the Bears with 17 first-half points. Catawba shot 57% for the game and held a 37-31 edge on the boards. The Lady Indians also converted on 25 of 32 (78%) chances at the line. #####

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