Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball falls in region opener

SALISBURY, N.C. – Fifth-seeded Fayetteville State University used an 18-5 run over the first 5:28 of the second half and never looked back as the Lady Broncos defeated fourth-seeded Catawba College Friday evening in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. Fayetteville State improved to 21-8 and will face the winner of Friday’s last quarterfinal game (Lenoir-Rhyne College vs. Shaw University) in an 8 p.m. semifinal game. The Lady Indians finished their season 24-7 and had their 18-game home winning streak snapped. The Lady Broncos, who trailed 37-30 at the half, tied the game at 40 on a jumper by Brahsheeda Elohim, who finished with 17 points, with 16:35 remaining. Fayetteville State pushed its lead to six (48-42) on a 3-pointer by Deonda Green, who finished with 13 points, with 14:49 left Catawba got as close as two points three times midway in the second half, the last time (55-53) on two free throws by Danyel Locklear, who had a game-high 23 points, with 10:27 remaining. However, Fayetteville State used a 10-2 run over the next 3:30 to take a 10-point lead (65-55) on two free throws by Elohim with 7:49 left. Catawba didn’t get closer than five points the remainder of the game. Catawba quickly jumped out of the gates as they scored the first 13 points of the game that was capped by an old-fashioned three-point play by Locklear, who scored 12 of her points in the first half, with 15:38 remaining. Isiaette Darden, who scored 12 of her points in the first half, also hit three 3-pointers during that run for Catawba. After missing their first eight field goal attempts of the game, the Lady Broncos, who shot 25.0 percent (9-of-36) in the first half from the field, scored nine unanswered points – five from Green – to pull within four points (13-9) on a Crissy Marsh jumper with 13:30 left. Catawba pushed its lead back to 10 points (20-10) on a Darden layup with 11:55 remaining, but Fayetteville State got as close as three points twice in the final minutes of the half. Danielle Cox added 13 points for the Lady Broncos, while Ashley Cox added 10 for Catawba. Dorthell Little added 11 rebounds for the Lady Indians. QUOTABLES Fayetteville State Head Coach Eric Tucker: “We had a three-week layoff (from the CIAA Tournament) and the first half showed it. We were able to switch some personnel and get back into it. Our pressure bothered them. We were able to get some transition baskets off the turnovers.” (Being down 13 at start of game). “We were ice cold and Catawba came out on fire. We had to weather the storm and just hang in there. Catawba Head Coach John Duncan: “We came out of the blocks quickly. They slowly creeped back and we got a little hesitant.” “(Our) turnovers were big. Rebounding was a huge difference. You can’t let a team have two, three, and even four chances at the basket.” ###

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