Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Falls in Opening Round of SAC Tournament

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JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- Catawba saw its women's basketball season come to an end with an 82-68 loss at Carson-Newman in the opening round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament on Wednesday night at Hold Fieldhouse.  The fourth-seeded Lady Eagles advance to the semifinals as they improve to 16-13.  The Catawba Indians, seeded fifth, finish up at 14-13.

Chloe Bully (Hannut, BELGIUM/KOL Landen) was the lone Catawba player to reach double figures with 13 points.  She hit on just 5-of-14 shots, but did can a trio of three-pointers.  Bully also handed out six assists.  Mallary Clay (Lansing, NC/Ashe Co. HS) and Zhaquondalee Greer (Greensboro, NC/Academy at Smith/Charleston So.) each scored nine points.

Jai Jai McLaughlin posted a triple-double to lead Carson-Newman.  She had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.  Lashawnda Preacher had a game-high 16 points and Kaitlyn Cupples tallied a dozen.  Tatum Burstrom joined McLaughlin with 11 points and Jassmine Franklin picked up 10 off the bench.

The game went back-and-forth over most of the first half with a dozen lead changes and three ties over the opening 14 minutes.  Emma Ucinski (Atlanta, GA/St. Pius X HS) had the Lady Indians up 21-20 with 6:58 to go, but Cupples scored at the 6:45 mark and Carson-Newman would not trail again.

Leading 25-23, the Lady Eagles used a 9-0 spurt to lead by 11 after a three-pointer from Burstrom.  That run to grab a double-digit lead basically decided the outcome.  Once Catawba got behind, the Lady Indians could not get closer than eight the rest of the way.

The lead hovered around 10 points until the midpoint of the second half.  Burstrom connected on another three-pointer with 9:41 left to end a 7-0 run and push the margin to 60-43.  Carson-Newman would go on top by as many as 24 before Catawba cut the deficit in the final minutes.

After hitting on just 31% in the opening half, Catawba did improve to 52% in the second half, but saw C-N can 60% in the final 20 minutes.

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