Basketball (W)

McPhail Rallies Women's Basketball Only to Fall in Overtime at LR

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HICKORY, NC -- Despite rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit, Catawba came up on the short end of a 66-65 overtime loss at Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Shuford Gym.  The Bears improve to 14-4 overall and 9-4 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians fall to 8-9 and 6-7, losing for the fourth straight time and the second straight in overtime by a single point. 

Senior Antoinette McPhail (Timmonsville,SC/Darlington HS/Paine) brought Catawba back from the halftime deficit, scoring 20 of her 22 points after the break.  She completed a double-double by grabbing a dozen rebounds and also had three assists and a steal.  Jada Huntley (Indian Trail, NC/Porter Ridge HS) nearly reached double figures with nine points.

Catawba held Lenoir-Rhyne to just  a dozen points over the first 14 minutes of the second half, but still trailed by double figures at 50-39 with six minutes left.  McPhail took charge, scoring eight straight points for the Lady Indians to cut the margin to 50-47 with 3:10 to go.  The comeback was complete when Huntley sank her second three-pointer of the night to knot things at 50-all with 2:35 remaining.

Huntley put Catawba on top with a pair of free throws which was answered by two from the stripe by Lenoir-Rhyne's Jazmine Charles.  McPhail gave the Lady Indians a 54-52 edge on a bucket with 28 seconds to play.  Morgan Cooper forced the extra time on a jumper with 12 seconds left and Mallary Clay (Lansing, NC/Ashe Co. HS) missed at the buzzer for Catawba.

Lenoir-Rhyne scored the opening four points of overtime and never trailed.  Catawba cut the deficit to a single point on a three-pointer by Emma Ucinski (Atlanta, GA/St. Pius X HS) that was answered from long range by Charles.  McPhail responded with a three-point play to make it 61-60 with 2:16 left, but she would foul out five seconds later.

Down four, Janna Dixon (Advance, NC/W. Forsyth HS) missed a three-pointer for Catawba with 10 seconds left and Nneka Awuruonye iced it with a free throw with seven second remaining.  Zhaquondalee Greer (Greensboro, NC/Academy at Smith/Charleston Southern) hit a three-pointer for the Lady Indians with a tenth of a second to play for the final margin.

Catawba shot just 23% in falling behind 38-24 at the half.  Lenoir-Rhyne scorched the nets for 54%, but cooled to 26% in the second half as the Lady Indians rallied.  Catawba shot only 32% for the game.

Charles had a big night for the Bears with 29 points.  She made 10-of-15 shots, including four three-pointers.  Cooper came off the bench to add 11 points.

Catawba returns home on Saturday and will host Carson-Newman at 2 p.m.

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